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The Magpie

Sunday, January 21st, 2018   |   271 comments

Secrets And The City: Townsville Becomes Mushroomville , Fed On Bullshit And Kept In The Dark.

That old joke used to be funny, but not anymore. The mayor have been forced by civil activism to admit she had lied about the circumstances surrounding the funding of the Adani airstrip.

There is a raft of issues that Mayor Mullet and Council CEO Adele The Impaler Young refuse to share with the electorate. This is clearly for fear that their self-serving ideas betray political motivation only, and prompt more questions about honest governance than provide answers. Here’s a sample platter.

Now The Mad Katter wants to upset the Mayor Mullet’s tea-party. The Member For Kennedy, who has a loud voice on the national stage, joins the throng seeking an end to the Adani airstrip secrecy. His call has come when national media has started to take an interest in why the mayor has been openly lying about the issue, prompted by the bulldog like attentions of civic activist Phil Batty, who just won ‘t let go.

The Ipswich Council, up to its ears in corruption, has just disbanded the council’s development corporation, a vehicle that appeared to aid and abet the corruption in that city, but Townsville is about to create its own Development Corporation. But don’t concern yourself with the details, you won’t be told … this week’s meeting on the subject will be BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

In other matters, The Magpie points you to the unreported sides of the Townsville Golf Club saga over sewage and water … and learns a couple of hitherto unknown facts.

Also, The Magpie is often accused of hosting a very negative blog, so this week, he puts forth some ideas the idlers at TEL could be looking at.

But first ….

So with Australia Day again upon us, and a rapacious media trying to whip more general apathy about the date on which it is celebrated. Even many an indigenous spokesperson thinks it is a non-starter as any sort of issue. But trust a politician to seize the opportunity to make a chucklehead of himself … take a gander at this goose …

Nigel Scullion

Nigel Scullion

…that’s Nigel Scullion Minister for Indigenous Affairs, a very shouty little man most ill-suited to his position. On ABC radio this morning, he made the astounding statement that no one in the indigenous community is talking at all about changing the date of Australia Day. Needless to say, this came as a surprise, not least of all to the interviewer, who works for an organization that seems to be able to get a dozen or more aboriginal naysayers to suddenly materialize at the flick of a video camera on-button.

On the other side of the coin is Dicky di Natale, the Green’s waffler-in-chief, who is pushing for a date change so that aborigines can have the date as their own ‘Sulk and Simmer Day’, a sort of bookend day to ‘Sorry Day’ on May 26. But Bentley doesn’t seem to think Dicky is getting the message across to newer generations of Aussies.

Oz Day

‘Keyboard Warriors’ Take To The Title

Funny how insults can sometimes suddenly turn into badges of honour – WW1 gave us the ‘Old Contemptibles’ (Emperor Wilhelm ll’s slur on the British Expeditionary Force) WW2 threw up the venerable Rats of Tobruk , and ‘the deplorables’ recently rebounded against Hillary Clinton. So it is with the current Battle for Townsville and Jenny Hill’s arrogant dismissal of those opposing her Adani airstrip venture as ‘keyboard warriors’.

Silly girl, Mullet.

Screen shot 2018-01-20 at 11.31.13 PM

It is now the proud soubriquet of folks like Phil Batty, who has brought your chicanery to national attention and to the CCC and the Ombudsman, petitioner Peter Newey and scores of informed commenters on this blog (The ‘Pie prefers to think of himself as a keyboard komedian).

They say nothing succeeds like persistence, so it is Phillip Batty’s terrier-like attention that Mayor Mullet and her legal lapdogs must find most galling. Courtesy of Mr Batty, the disgraceful self-censorship of the Bulletin was by-passed when this incisive and damning report appeared on WIN News.

That Win News story on Facebook has had 21,000 views and 874 shares. And 99.99% of the comments are positively against the airport and council. Guess they were all keyboard warriors, too.

Things have really started to go pear shaped for mayor Mullet – soon afterwards, the Guardian weighed in

Screen shot 2018-01-20 at 11.36.58 PM

… then this (which is NOT a government publication, just one that tracks governmental matters) …

Screen shot 2018-01-20 at 11.40.08 PM

… and, even in the Bulletin,  this.

Screen shot 2018-01-20 at 11.43.38 PM

So, with a little more resonance in the immediate area, Bob Katter has squeaked into the fray … his party represents a chunk of Townsville ratepayers and associated business interests. He echoes calls for all the dealings out on the table.

Jenny Hill

It has all forced our mayor to admit to lying about the ownership, operation and manner of ‘gifting’ a shonky Indian billionaire up to $18.5million of ratepayers funds for an airstrip at a mine that may never happen. And has highlighted … as if we didn’t already have proof enough … of her secretive, self-interested methods of riding rough shod over the real interests and wishes of her mandate.

Jenny Hill and her inept legal toe-suckers have been forced to admit that they will not only NOT OWN OR OPERATE the Adani airport they have co-funded with the Rockhampton council, but we will also be paying rent throughout its life time. She’s a business genius!!!

As previously reported here, Mr. Batty sooled the CCC on to the issue, who then duck-shoved it off to the Department of Infrastructure to check on possible corruption in the procurement process. It was this move that forced the mayor to admit to het lying … in so many words, of course, its inescapable but a direct apology will never be on this twister’s agenda.

The Ombudsman has also been apprised of the situation.

But as for the Department of Infrastructure, they have to be mindful of premier Alphabet … and the fact that she and mayor Mullet are close personal friends and long-standing Labor allies.

 The Political Art Of Kabuki – Queensland Style

So expect a set piece of bureaucratic kabuki theatre, the Japanese art form that follows unyielding rules involving highly stylized song, mime and dance, exhaustively rehearsed.

Kabuki 2

The Magpie will bet that Mayor Mullet’s dishonesty with the electorate will not be considered (since no complaint was directly made about such behaviour) and will be found to as pure as the driven snow regarding procedural matters, despite her public lying. But the Ombudsman is far more independent, and we will have to depend on whether that office is willing to ask probing relevant questions that the Department of Infrastructure will dodge as not being their remit.

That could be the bad news … here’s the worse news …this secret and probably corrupt governance of Townsville has every appearance of snowballing.

More Secret Stuff – Secret For No Valid Reason

Mayor Mullet and Adele The Impaler have set the standard for this new ‘secret women’s business’ when they refused to release the KPMG report which apparently (according to her alone) reckons the Adani mine would inject $90million ANNUALLY into the Townsville economy for … wait for it … the 30 years life span of the mine!!! Economists making such definitive long range forecasts are as rare as rocking horse shit – they just don’t do it – but we can’t dispute their projections – because they are somehow deemed ‘commercial in confidence’.

The rorting never ends, this can only be an utter lie aimed at avoiding independent examination  of a report on which one of the shonkiest local government decisions ever was made. This from the Globalnegotiator site: Commercial in confidence. A classification that identifies information that, if disclosed, may result in damage to a party’s commercial interests, intellectual property or trade secrets.

So KPMG knows trade secrets and intellectual property 30 years in advance?

Get off the table, Mabel, the money’s for the beer.

Dangerous Developments

But hey, it worked once, why not again? So this week, The ‘Pie is told there is a council meeting to discuss the council creating its own Development Corporation. (read ‘discuss’ as: the councillor pets to be lectured by the mayoral owner.)

AND GUESS WHAT? That meeting is going to be held in secret, behind closed doors, no public, no press. Why? What justification can there be for keeping these deliberations from the public? Commercial in confidence simply cannot apply, and no deals or third parties could surely be discussed at this stage. Or could they … like free land in exchange for a share in a blue-sky battery factory?

This will be discussed just at a time when the corruption-riddled Ipswich Council finally ditched its development Corporation, which was widely believed to have offered opportunities for corruption. Jenny Hill, a great admirer of disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale, apparently got this idea from a visit to to ipswich.)

This all has a long way to run yet, and the best line of the week goes to reader Achilles, who wrote in: ‘I always thought a spinning jenny was for cotton, seems to work well with a yarn, too.’

Water Hazard

Seems the politics of envy is alive and well in Walker Street. The Townsville Golf Club has been copping a one-sided caning over problems with its on-site sewage treatment plant. There can be little doubt that well known that hooning Mayor Mullet is behind a long running campaign (it started during the last elections two years ago) painting a‘ picture of rich, unscrupulous  people behaving badly at the golf club. This is of course nonsense (it’s a damn sight dearer to race hoon cars, Jenny), and the club has chosen to air some overlooked facts in posts to this blog in the form of comments.

Townsville Golf Club aerial

TGC before the development

Both sides of the argument are represented in lengthy but interesting exchanges. The entire exchange is way too long to reprint here in full but you can find it well down in comment on last week’s blog. The Magpie sees this as a good example of how issues are ignored, glossed over, or twisted by both the Bulletin and the council (mainly by the sin of omission), thus the re-run here, which unfortunately  remains quite lengthy.. However if this is not an issue of interest to you, just skip to the next headline.

This is a summary, edited for brevity in parts. It kicked off with this accusation.

Wry Whiskey 

January 18, 2018 at 8:13 am  (Edit)

The odious (or should that be odorous?) saga of the TGC and it sewage treatment plant was a comedy until the recent tragedyThe club allowed this very old STP to fall into disrepair despite having the funds in the last 3 years to replace it, the developer has refused to prioritise its refurbishment until land sales are completed (the new clubhouse and STP are the last items on their list – presumably if there’s any money left over for the club), the Dept of Environment took 9 months to investigate persistent odour complaints before issuing Orders, the Council washed its hands of the entire affair despite being the sole provider of “the goods”. The community can only hope WHSQ does its job properly. Failing that, a class action against these actors would seem to


  • Golf club truth


January 18, 2018 at 10:42 am  (Edit)

Statements made here about the old treatment plant at the golf club are completely off the mark.

Firstly the property development and the redevelopment of the golf club are completely separate. The golf redevelopment is being run by the club. The property development is under the control of a completely seperate organisation.and has no responsibility for the treatment plant. The sale of land from the property development is providing funds for the golf course rebuild.

The recent history of the club must be taken into account. Despite the mayor describing the club as a millionaire golf club at the last local government election the reality is over the last decade the club has been on the brink of extinction with crippling debts.

Green on Hole 18 with Club House in the background

To save one of the oldest clubs in Australia and an asset to this city the club was forced to embark on the current project to provide funds to keep the club afloat. The onsite sewage treatment plant is a major liability to the club. Aside from the operation and maintenance costs there is also a licence fee of fifty thousand dollars a year just operate the plant.

The club went to the council four years ago with options to secure the long term water supply for the new course. The volume of waste treated through this plant is saving the council two hundred thousand dollars per year in treatment costs for waste not going through to their treatment plant so the council certainly has skin in the game. Both Rowes Bay and the Willows Golf Clubs receive treated effluent free of charge from the council while the Townsville Club is bearing a huge cost burden to treat on site.

To suggest the club has just let the existing plant go to ruin without taking action to secure a long term water supply with the council is just utter nonsense. The club is currently seeking to have treated effluent from the Cleveland Bay treatment plant returned to the course to remove the need to build another treatment plant. That returned effluent could also be used for other public facilities in the area such as the Murray Sporting Complex.

The development project as a whole will inject 130 million dollars into the Townsville economy over the life of the project. The accident involving the club’s head green keeper is a concern for all. Jason is a valued employee and friend of the members and we are all concerned for him and look forward to a speedy recovery and his return to the club.

In the meantime the council despite suggesting otherwise has a very real responsibility in this matter and must speed up the process of providing a sensible reuse of waste water from their Cleveland Bay plant that would otherwise be flushed out to sea. If the council can provide recycled water for the football stadium they can do so for the Townsville Golf Club.

Wry Whiskey 

January 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm  (Edit)

The refurbishment (of the STP) is undeniably hampered by 1) the land developer putting the clubhouse and STP redevelopment last and 2) the club not prioritising it ahead of new greens. Regardless, the club has been sitting on the significant proceeds of land sales for years. Fiddling while Rome burns. Get on with a real solution which is safe and effective for all concerned.


  • Golf club truth

January 18, 2018 at 10:08 pm  (Edit)

Let me try to explain this for you one more time. The land development is a separate operation to the golf course redevelopment. The developers of the housing estate have no say in the roll out of the new club house or any other part of the golf course rebuild. The club has made in very clear they cannot afford to build a new STP despite your ill informed claims that the club is sitting on millions of dollars. The budget for the finished product leave very little cash left over. Whatever is left will be needed to help the clubs long term financial sustainability.

The land that has been set aside for the housing development made it necessary to rebuild a number of holes on new alignments to accommodate the land parcels for each stage of the development. The rebuilding of these holes had to happen now or the club would have folded.

I’m not sure what is driving your desire to attack the club. Clearly you are completely ignorant of the need to stage this project around the roll out of the housing development. Land that once had golf holes is now streets and houses. No new holes and the club folds. Is that what you want to see happen?

Fortunately you’re not running this operation. Your attitude to the project and your desire to attack the club tells us more about you than those people working very hard to save a very important asset for this city. All that while investing 130 million dollars into our struggling economy.

This city desperately needs people with a positive attitude not whingers who want us to under achieve so they can feel good about themselves,

Just to clear a common misconception following the misleading stories in the Townsville Bulletin two years ago during the council elections. The club is not and has not for the last 30 plus years used anything other than treated effluent from the on course treatment plant to water the course. That story was run for political purposes and remains untrue. The existing plant is now well past it’s use by date and an affordable water solution must be found.

We live in the dry tropics and yes we do have a water crisis. The club has no desire to use reticulated town water. Given the city’s dire problems with water we simply must use recycled water from the Cleveland Bay treatment plant to reduce our reliance on our normal water supply. We as a city already spend millions of dollars treating this water to simply dump it in the ocean because we live next to the Great Barrier Reef. As of last week we have been told we will need to treat recycled water to irrigate the new football stadium so the council is now going to have to treat water to a higher degree to water grass on which to play Rugby League.

Therefore suitable water to use at the golf club, the Murray Complex, the turf club and even the road verges entering the city will be available. We must go down this path. It is time to stop looking in the rear view mirror and starting looking to a water wise future.

For the golf club the only asset they had to secure their future was land they could sell. This is a once and once only opportunity to secure the clubs future.. The Cleveland Bay plant will always be there. If it’s good enough for the football stadium it good enough for all.

Let’s not forget the club has saved the TCC based on their estimation in today’s dollars seven million dollars treating effluent the council would have otherwise had to treat. Let’s not forget the increased rate base coming from the new subdivision providing new revenue for the council.

The club will continue to work with the council for a future building outcome.

Pie I know my comments on this matter have been long but there has been a great deal of misinformation on this matter. Some of it deliberate. It is important to share balance and facts.!

That last line is why The Magpie blog exists.

Let’s End On A Positive Note

magpie peering copy

The Magpie has copped occasional flak from the ill-informed or mischievous for being ‘so negative’ … well, it’s hard to be much else dealing the general dishonesty prevalent in this city. And The ‘Pie has made several suggestions of a positive nature (all ignored) over the years, including a script for a tourism commercial that professional peers in Sydney and Melbourne deemed worthy of production (nothing happened).

But since the Bulletin has invited the world and his wife to send in their ideas to give the Dudley Do Nothings at Wishing Well House a few sorely needed ideas, The Magpie has decided to stick in his beak, too.

And what we’re talking about here are projects that should be quietly and professionally pursued but not trumpeted as ‘done deals’ as is so often the case from mayor Mullet via the Daily astonisher. Sure there will immediately be plenty of naysayers, who say these things can’t be done, for one reason or another, but the following short list is written with the George Bernard Shaw words – more famously later paraphrased by Senator Robert Kennedy –  ‘men see the world as it is, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?’

The following are mainly about attracting tourists, but that is not to ignore the single most important issue – the almost automatic expansion of the city’s industrial base when it has access to adequate affordable power.  But that aside, here are some thoughts on attracting tourism investment.

radical bay

  1. An approach to whomsoever has the lease on Radical Bay to consider the establishment of a high class ‘glamping site’ there. Serviced by paths running down the sides of the valley to the beach, lines of glamping structures would be a world class site, each provided with its own small vehicle to allow all of the island to share in the largesse of the attraction. The council and the state Parks and Wildlife people should be persuaded to repair the road, since it would also service adjacent, uninhabited bays, and make wildlife tours more accessible and profitable.  glamping-new-5-636447010242370215_460_259A small utilities and services building with bar, restaurant, water rentals office etc would be feasible, since there was one there for years anyway and did not harm, and Sea Goddess were going to build a flogging great hotel there. The now often grubby beach would be regularly tended and the bay is ideal for water sports and snorkelling. The big problem of a water supply could be overcome with the operator funding a suitable storage tank near the entrance above the site. Scores of jobs.

Wave Park

  1. A wave surf facility – the one pictured above is planned for Perth – such as the one Les Walker talks about, (an idea he picked up from The Magpie some years ago, after I had discussed it with Clr David Crisafulli as an option for the ‘duck pond’ in front of the casino. Crisafulli thought the idea a great one, but he got tied up in other things before anything was moved ahead. No need to go into the detail, but if Chris Morris could be persuaded to look at the project in front of his hotel/casino, there would be some big pluses in there for him – and what a wonderful entrance message to cruise liners and yachtsmen! Such a facility has a built-in local clientele in the permanent rotation of young athletic defence personnel, the thousands of southern surf-savvy public servants and uni students, and a magnet for the whole adjacent region. Tourism attracted by it, particularly from Asia, would also give a massive lift to the town, in jobs and confidence. Another element that could be incorporated: a Pier running out from the left hand side, with trawlers permanently moored there, some older permanently pensioned off operating as restaurants, other selling produce direct off the boats (a long standing and highly successful idea in Port Macquarie), tourist tour boats for a spin around Maggy or up to Palm, and the seaplane for joy rides. A line of elegant palms could be planted along a widened right hand side breakwater … it would be magic for incoming visitors. A simulation fly-over would be a great sales tool and would not cost the earth – certainly a fraction of $18.5million.

castle Hill

  1. That site on Castle Hill where Panorama House used to be, and the parking area across the road should be offered to a group affiliated with JCU or another university (or all of them for that matter) to create a northern Australia planetarium-type attraction, with a unique feature of a tall elegant four walled structure towering up the side of the hill to whatever height necessary (40, 60, 100 metres whatever) so people could view stars day and night, as well as associated displays – this is based on the well (no pun) known fact that if you go down a well that is deep enough during the day, when you look up, all ambient light is cut out and the stars and milky way can be clearly seen. The strikingly-designed structure (called perhaps Stargate Townsville and could be the subject of an international design competition) could become a well know landmark identifiable with Townsville. It is not silly to suggest people like Richard Branson or even Bill gates could be quietly approached, its a fit with parts of their empires.

And to those tiresome tediums who suggest it would be inappropriate on such a heritage landmark as Castle Hill,  I will go along with that argument only when they also demand the removal of the obscene, irrelevant  vandalistic graffiti of that Saint figure … without exception, every visitor I have spoken to or hosted over 25 years has been appalled by its sanctioned and continued existence. It belittles and besmirches the reputation of the city to an extent that is willfully not acknowledged. The standard answer is ‘mind your own f…king business, this is our town. If you don’t like, piss have.’ Well done, folks, many potential repeat visitors have done that just that. And told others.


  1. Ancillary to Stargate Townsville, I suggest that a San Francisco style tram facility be created to inter alia service the planetarium and take folks to the exising hilltop area, running across the front base of Castle Hill then curling around and up the back of the hill as it climbs to the top, affording that brilliant vista of the city stretching out to the Pinnacles. Again a defining POD … point of difference for Townsville.
  1. And if we are in visionary mode, we need to set the timelines a little longer from right now, and seriously look at the considerable upsides to a commuter rail service for the northern beaches – at least to Rolling Stone – maybe later to Ingham. Modern rail motors, sleeker versions of the wonderful old ones stupidly scrapped 20 or more years ago, could service various economical ‘siding stations’ which if the demand is there could include secure car parks. This would relieve the ever-increasing congestion, pollution and danger of the roads feeding the area – part of which is a busy national highway anyway –  would save residents money, would provide safe travel for school kids, and make the inevitable proliferation of dormitory suburbs more accessible, appealing and encourage strong property values. This template could be replicated into other areas as they became suitable candidates for such a service. The house and land prices being as they are, such a light rail service running through Giru to Brandon and down to Ayr would again become feasible, as it once was.  Taking this back-to-the -future scenario a step further, in perhaps 40 or 50 years, God and Donald Trump willing that our city is still here, a high speed rail link for city workers to Charters Towers – Ingham too – is not out of the question. But as airey fairy as that last bit may sound now, it’s called ‘vision’. I ask the scoffers to look back at Townsville 25 years ago and honestly say if they could have – in their wildest dreams –  envisaged the mini-metroplis of today taking over the cow paddocks and horse resting yards of that age.

One immediate step that could be taken, indeed should be loudly agitated for, is a convention entertainment centre, which was pushed away and back by vested interests with no real interest or vision for this city … a vision that sees no further than their own self-interests.

And all the above incorporates elements of what I have been consistently calling for … a total restructuring of Townsville Enterprise, run by a truly professional, experienced and above all accountable team with the talents to make the above reality. And leave the council to get on with the day to day running of the city, a ball that they have so badly dropped in the past three years.

Let’smust end by again quoting two memorable truisms of the visionary Robert Kennedy, who said ‘One fifth of the people are against everything all the time’, probably 50% in Townsville, but they should repudiated by his other clarion call ‘Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly’. 


And that means not wasting millions of public money on a pointless billionaire’s airstrip.


A lengthy one this week, hope you found something in all that to interest you. Let’s have your thoughts on any matters of that tickle your fancy, comments run 24/7 throughout the week. And if you can offer the blog your tangible support, it will be greatly appreciated, the donate button is right below.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.


  1. Crow says:

    Radical Bay as a camping spot is is currently a shocker. The usual suspects travel there in their 4WD’s, set up camping at the north end of the beach or under the big Banyan tree. The generators and music are at full volume and the rubbish dump and toilet at the north end behind the beach is never cleaned up. It would make a great camping spot if it was correctly managed.
    This city needs a permanent festival area with lots of parking, dedicated toilets, some shade, a stage area with power. Reid park seems to be an obvious place. Events there would be enhanced by events at the Super Stadium. This would not cost a fortune to establish and it would see huge usage by all the community if it was dome well.

    • Crow says:

      Also, while I am here, the big thing stopping any thing happening at Radical Bay is the road. I walked it recently and it is a mess and getting worse. Huge wash-outs and deep pot holes that would swallow up Olive Scott-Young. It will cost a fortune to fix. The road should be closed beyond Arthur bay for safety.

      • The Magpie says:

        Repairing the road has always been pivotal to any development at Radical, but it would seem the progressives of all governments insist that an unfair share of the considerable cost be borne by the operator/developer. The ‘Pie made his point about what could be done about it, pitching in to get a job creating project off the ground (no pun). Surely a small but invaluable incentive from a council that has seen fit to squander up to $18.5 million on an airstrip that in all honesty won’t create a single job for Townsville.

      • The Magpie says:

        And a nice little nod to local history, which no doubt had them scratching their heads at The Astonisher. Olive Scott-Young gained national attention in 1983 for her imaginative campaign protesting the state of the city’s roads. 1983 and mike Capt Snooze Reyolds had been mayor for three years, so it figures.

        While her much-respected medico hubby has passed on, Olive was alive and kicking as recently last August, at a reportedly robust 83.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Remember the strip club over the road from the railway station in Flinders St. They used to have business men’s luncheons. Allegedly Olive went in one time and there were blokes ducking under tables and running for the back door so not to be recognised.

  2. Dave of Kelso says:

    Greetings Dear ‘Pie,

    Two matters if I may; The Castle Hill Saint (short and sweet) and Trams for Townsville (long and detailed)

    1. The Saint, If Canberra can have the Aboriginal Tent Embassy (a vile disgusting eyesore) we can have the Saint, or perhaps both should go.

    2 Trams, Some time back the TCC, in a fit of ‘industrial democracy asked for submissions to the Draft City Plan. Please find below my submission which, of course, did not get a look in.

    Draft City Plan Submission

    Public Transportation Corridors

    Planning now has to lay the future foot print of the city. Higher population density areas are being considered. In concert with this high density areas consideration to the future public transportation system must also be made. Such a system must link high density residential areas, Productive precincts, and Medical precincts. It should also link outer suburban trunk routs to the above.

    Townsville currently does not have a public transport culture. This City Plan is about the future, but it is also about the present. In considering Public Transportation Corridors, Townsville with a future population of 300,000 has to be envisaged.

    The most efficient city public transportation system is light rail (trams) with discrete corridors separate from the road system. (Mixing trams and cars clogs both systems.)

    Experience in other cities where future transportation needs have not been considered has resulted in land resumptions, Brisbane for example. Resumptions are politically controversial, expensive and most painful for those loosing their land and best avoided where possible.

    I submit that future public transportation corridors by identified and set aside now, so that they are freely available in the future when needed, without the need for resumptions. Their presence will be a development driver as future residents will want to be close to such corridors in the Townsville of the future (pop 300.000).

    Land resumptions will be limited to land that is already occupied and can be identified as such now in the City Plan. This will give current occupants of such land many years warning that the land will eventually be resumed minimising difficulty in the future. It will also give current owners options as to having the land resumed sooner that later. It will also stop the land from being sold under false pretences.

    Until Townsville City needs a light rail public transport system these transport corridors can be used as low maintenance park land (albeit long and narrow) and bicycle paths. Using these corridors as safe bike paths in the near term will promote a positive spin-off that will please the cycling public and generate positive PR for the project and for Council from the start. With suitable design it may be possible for cyclists and trams to co-exist in the same corridor.

    • Crow says:

      The saint is an outmoded piece of graffiti on our iconic hill. What must visitors think when they see it. Get rid of it, it’s time has long passed, it is not clever any more. Do I find myself in sync with the ‘pie?

    • Alacan says:

      Dave, Dave , Dave .. just far too logical, far too worth thinking about let alone far too concievable to incorporate .. which speaks to where the state of confidence of city development is with, dare i say it, our elected minders at Walker Street..

      Whatever our deities are .. protect us .. or maybe we use our free will and just vote them out .. that could be positive

      Seriously thanks for sharing .. its a shame it didnt get some level of recognition as i believe it goes well beyond the hope of build it and they will come .. it could be a transformational change to growth, city amenity, baseline infrastructure and an economic kick start that goes far beyond serving one sector such as tourism.

      • The Magpie says:

        The trick as we see it is plans like Dave have to leap-frog sooner developments and, as he says, start now, in this case resuming land for those corridors. many things will happen, good and bad, between the present and his vision coming to fruition … perhaps a line from T.S Eliot is apt: ‘Between the idea. And the reality. Between the motion. And the act. Falls the Shadow.’

        Sadly, that quote comes from the ironic poem, The Hollow Men. Funny ol’ life, ain’t it?

  3. upagumtreeperson says:

    Well done Magpie. Great ideas thinking outside the square. Magpie Mayor has a good ring. You would get my vote.

  4. upagumtreeperson says:

    Went to Radical Bay years ago and stayed in a ram shackled round-house of accommodation. Struck by the pristine beauty of Radical. I thought it was privately owned?

  5. Alacan says:

    Reading the Pie this morning got me to thinking.. about a reset .. let’s reset to positivity.

    So i googled .. as once is apt to do .. to check a few things out in a bid for a positive surprise.

    Read the TEl. 2016:2017 .. phew tidy set of books, positively well presented and im postive if the two primary members decided to pull the pin then you could positively assume the game is up

    Then i returned to a topic i have banged on about before in here .. just to postively be sure that i had read and appraised myself with the most recent Local Disaster Management Plan… you know to be postively sure that the plan that is posted is postively recent , up to date , and relevent ..

    well i can postively report that the latest under the documents that the link takes you to .. i presume sorting in order of most recent.. is that it is postively 12 plus months old.. references key members who have postively long gone ..

    But .. im postive that the impaler and mullett are onto it .. and its just some staffer who has positively failed to update the page.

    Aahh .. positively stupendous .. then i guess there is next year…

    Well im postive the weet bix will taste the same .. breakfast time .. to be sure to be sure.

  6. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The Townsville golf club has a lot of other issues than the sewerage pump station, and the future of the club is anything but secure. The fact is the club sold itself to land developers, who don’t give a fuck about the Golf club, it’s members and the effect the development has on them. Golf club membership has tanked and is now down to around 300 members, most have left because of interruptions to their golf by the development, and the pathetically slow pace of the development and how long it has dragged on for. I know many members who have left and joined other clubs, pissed off by the failure of management and committee to outline a clear timeline for the projects completion. Long standing members were offered nothing in return for their patience during the interruptions of the development, not even a discount on membership fees to keep them committed to the club, so many have left. This is just a clear case of the club failing its members completely, and many are starting to think it has been done deliberately, by those in the club with something to be gained by the club falling over, like a large chunk of land a few km from the CBD to develop. Land sales have been very very slow, and discounted heavily from their original pricing, this is mainly due to speculation the club will fold and homeowners who have paid a premium for golf course land will end up looking at the back of another house rather than a Golf fairway when the club falls over. The club needs to come clean to its few members it has left and those who have purchased land in the development, the whole thing is starting to smell, in more ways than one.

    • Golf club truth says:

      Ok here we go again. Let me just clarify I am not in management or a part of the steering committee at TGC. However I am a long standing member of the club who has taken time to ask questions about this project rather than just run off at the mouth with random statements I can’t possibly substantiate.

      Cantankerous, as a regular reader of this blog and you as a regular contributor I have always thought you to be reasonable and balanced. In this case you have not.
      So l will address your comments one by one.

      1. The developer doesn’t give a fuck about the club or it’s members. The lead operator for the property development is a personal friend of many of the members and took on this project to be a part of the rescue mission. Not bring it down as you claim. On what basis could make this claim.

      2. Membership has tanked and people are leaving. When you undertake a major project such as this your membership is bound to suffer. Blind Freddie could tell you that. Your oun statement that members were leaving because of the disruption in fact provides the answer to you own criticism. The time to launch your membership drive is when the course and clubhouse is complete and you have a world class product to sell. In the meantime you do the best you can. Why do you think Karrie Webb is involved in this project. She can see what the future can be. Clearly you and other nay sayers can not.

      3. Failure to provide a clear time line. There will always be factors influencing the timing of the role out. Yes the pace of land sales will play a part. But tell me which property development is going gang busters in our depressed market. Why should this project be different. The other major factor is a reliable and affordable water supply. Only an idiot would charge in with the bulldozers when you don’t have enough water to regrow grass on new fairways and greens. Finally the club can currently provide 18 complete holes for the members with the 8 new holes and 10 existing holes. The decision was made to give those long suffering members you referred to a break from the disruption of the final rebuild until there is certainty with water.

      4. Finally this clanger. There are those within the club who want this venture to fail so the total property can be sold for housing. On what basis can you make such a claim? The likely contenders in the club who you claim are seeking failure of the project are the very people who kept the doors open over recent years by putting their own money in to pay bills. The same people who battled in the face of adversity to get a bank to support the project. Who are now providing their expertise free of charge to manage this project for us. If they had wanted the place to go they could have made that happens years ago by doing nothing. The doors would already be closed.

      Now Cantankerous does that clear up your random claims of failure, treachery and corruption. It would appear you have been listening to I’ll informed gossip. Please get behind this project because those involved are going to do everything possible to bring this project to fruition. Nothing is gauranteed but If you sit on your arse, complain and attack others who are having go you will always fail.

      Sorry pie long again but clearly bloody necessary.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Sounds to me like a whole pile of pathetic excuses to what is a poorly planned, poorly delivered cluster fuck of a project that has failed at every single step of the process, can you honestly say that the series of events that have lead to this outcome were not foreseen by the people running the show, I struggle to think anyone is really that stupid, anyway see you on the fairways, if they ever get built.

        • Golf club truth says:

          That is just a stupid reply offering no structured defence of any of the unsubstantiated comments you made first up. I gave you a structured response to each of your claims one at a time. I gave you history. I gave you what is happening when and why. You come back with this rubbish.

          Do you have anything to back up your claims? You have attacked the integrity of everyone involved. If so offer the proof. I’m willing to listen. But please don’t come back with duh your all idiots. It does you no favours.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            I kept the reply short becaus frankly after last weeks back and forth between you and others I think many have had enough, but if the Pie is happy to put it up then I will happily reply.
            1. Your great mate who is overseeing the development has failed the members badly. In your answers last week you advised the club and the development are in no way linked, but then this week you advise the club has someone actively involved in the development, which is it, you can’t have it both ways.
            2. Membership has tanked because the members feel screwed over with very little information coming from the committee. Don Matheson did his revamp of the Willows and grew membership at the same time, Don had his issues but he sold the concept to the members, kept everyone informed as to progress of the changes and in the end produced the best Golf course in town at the time.
            3. Land sales shit themselves because it is overpriced land in an ordinary development with no guarantees that the course will be there in years to come, with a history of financial mismanagement that has left the club in a poor state for many years it is more than a good chance the same fate awaits the club in the years ahead.
            4. The water situation is a complete farce, and something the developers and club knew about but progressed anyway on the sheer hope that it would rain, how the hell does anyone progress a development without a contingency in place that is amateur hour shit.

            I actually feel for the members who have been hoodwinked into believing this development was the only hope the club had of continuing into the future, but once the decision was made to proceed then the committee and club, presumably represented by your developer mate had an obligation to the members first, they have clearly failed, you are now just a $3million sporting club in a $50 million housing development, you do the maths.

          • The Magpie says:

            Ok, one last reply to golfer (brief would be nice) and then The ‘Pie will close this thread, it appears all issues have aired if not resolved, and it is now getting down to a sort of ‘you say I say’ slanging match which adds nothing to anybody. Good airing though.

        • Tiger Woods mistress says:

          I’m only going to leave one comment because you are not intelligent enough to handle anything big. You obviously can’t read and it’s very anoying to read both your comments and the other person from last week. You have no understanding of how things of this scale proceed or are completed. Of course it will be finished. When you put grass down after you build a house do you water it to make sure it takes root? Times that by 1000 and you have a golf course. We are on level 3 and soon to be level 4 or worse and you think that a developer is going to outlay millions to build fairways to hope that it works. Our club has had bad press ever since the mayor won. She’s a liar and can’t be trusted. We have not used one drop of town water all of which has come from the treatment plant on site. To finish the course it means that plant will be demolished. How do you water it? Concidering we are using all your precious drinking water like the mayor has lied about. So to say that the developer didn’t plan accordingly is just rubbish otherwise it would be finished by now. Just like the mayor we are praying for rain. Take a leaf from Phil batty and stop arguing with people here who are clearly smarter than you and direct your questions to the mayor herself. She has made this political because of a deal done with the previous council. End of story. If the magpie thinks it true what’s your problem? This is just tit for tatt nonsense on your reply. Go and build some Lego because that is clearly the level of development skills you have, not to the scale of something major like a housing development in the middle of a 100yr old golf course. So pissed off with the narrow minded people in this city, hence why labour are STILL in power

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, goodness, Tiger’s Hole In One, no chnace of you getting diabetes … not a grain of sugar in all that. And please refer to The Magpie’s previous comment regarding this issue.

          • The Real Mr Batty says:

            I had a knock at my door the other day and found a man probably in his sixties standing there. He asked if I had any jobs he could do to earn himself lunch as he was a bit down on his luck.
            Kind of admiring his pluck I said he could clean the Merc inside and out and if he did a good job I would cook him lunch and give him $50. I took him out the back and gave him all the tools, vac,hose,polish etc and left him to it.
            Three hours later he knocked again saying he had finished so I went to inspect, beautiful car sir he said as I looked it over, beautiful car sir he repeated.
            Great job I told him to come inside for some lunch and as I prepared it he again said beautiful car sir. As he ate his lunch he said could I ask a question sir, as I vacuumed the inside I found some small plastic things in the glove compartment, what are they sir?
            I thought for a second and then said ahhh those are golf tees, golf tees sir what are they for? He asked. They are to put your balls on when driving off.
            Ohhh what a fucking beautiful car sir.

          • Golf club truth says:

            I pretty much done thanks Malcolm. Only one final point. In an earlier comment today Cantankerous stated “I’ll see you on the fairways if it ever happens”. Eight of the ten holes rebuilt and two of the four stages of the property development nearly complete. I think it’s happening.

            Cantankerous sounds like one our own club members who should know better. There are some out there who still think the club could have survived with an ageing golf course badly in need of renovations and a club that was stone cold broke with the banks getting ready to foreclose.

            A rash of ridiculous statements reminds me of the old saying , there are none so blind as those who will not see. Thanks for the space. This a great blog were the truth gets a run.

          • The Magpie says:

            Perhaps more correctly, as an overview, where fair debate is gets a run to allow readers to decide for themselves, since The ‘Pie is not in the position to play the probing journalist and ask each side the necessary questions. Well, not just yet anyway.

            However, as previously said, exchanges on this matter are now closed to comments, as it appears we have reached a stage where nothing further will be productive, constructive or even polite.

            Thanks to everyone who contributed.

  7. Narbloc says:

    It seems we are all cave people ( Citizens against virtually everything)

    • The Magpie says:

      That’s because we cave people are governed by lairs (Lying Arsesoles Intentionally Rorting Systematically) It’s enough to make you cry into your Big Mac.

      • The Magpie says:

        And here’s a question, Narbloc. Given your constructive contribution to this city and your less than stellar foray into labor politics, (must say it’s pretty obvious who you are), are you satisfied that the city is being run efficiently and fairly, and the ‘vision’ of future developments – as seen from the plush executive offices of Walker Street – is achievable and desirable? To the point where we shouldn’t be ‘cave people’? Seriously, even with your background, will you vote for Jenny in 2020?

        • Narbloc says:

          Only missed by that much but still got the$ for the port access rd , the V8s ,Upper Ross, Palm Island, netball and junior rugby league so can’t truly say it wasn’t worth the effort. Great learning experience. Definitely shows you who you can trust in this town and it’s really not the Murdoch papers etc. Will I vote for Jenny in 2020 ? If she stands again it’s still 3 years away a lot can happen in that time. We travel a lot so not really following the stories, doesn’t really matter that much as we’ll end up in the same place anyway. Hopefully the sun will rise tomorrow and we’ll climb whatever fence is in front of us. Cheers old mate hope your throat is ok.

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      Are you talking about the many CAVE people who now don’t have a job after being sacked by hill? Can’t have development without people with jobs, oh that’s right we had to sack 300 staff to get the savings for adani which is supposed to be guaranteed us jobs and 90 million a year to our economy for 30yrs. Sorry that last point was me reading the CAVE drawing I just put on my wall. CAVE drawings normally tell stories not facts. Just ask any aboriginal elder.

  8. Council workers "shovel" says:

    I said it last week I’ll say it this week. The mayor needs to be sacked or removed for anything good to happen in this city. All the former workers all the money being given to someone for no returns. The lies about the golf course the lies about what happened at the treatment plants not just Mt saint John. Administration is the only way forward and if all this presure from the public gets this done it can only be good for townsville. Just have a look 4yrs nth just how far ahead cairns is from us. You only have to see the servicesdelivered by there council is far above what we can here. She’s putting money into her election promises to save her arse.

  9. Frida’s Monobrow says:

    …and meanwhile in The Bulletin: Adani holds keys to this little town. What a load of rot when the rest of the nation is reporting on the real story of shady dealings between Adani and TCC and RCC.


  10. Gonzo says:

    Pie, Your visionary thinking gives a positive ending to a great blog post. I always thought the US would have been a better place if Bobby Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated. In reference to your ideas above, Kennedy often used to quote Tennyson’s “Ulysses”: “… Come, my friends,/’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.” Cheers.

  11. Mike Douglas says:

    Wish lists are fine but the fact Peter Beattie/Anna Bligh left the State $60 bil in debt and Townsville is $370 mil I think you may need to narrow your focus on priority projects and not “ Pie in the Sky”. If it’s tourism you need to focus on the hot buttons/drawcards.Public transport needs more infrastructure especially with our Universities and the cbd supposed 30,000 population.

    • The Magpie says:

      perhaps you’ve misunderstood, Mike, The ‘Pie is advocating that PRIVATE investors are sought for the various projects, in a professional manner by a skilled team armed with real incentives from the council to start such projects here. State and council debt have nothing to do with the suggestions.

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Pie, I am a private investor and just picked up some local commercial at 9.5%+ capital growth.As a private Investor Qld has the worst growth % vs other States and our retail has had the worst national growth for the past 3 qtrs.Private investors look for solid returns and situations where the State Government backflips on Adani is far from helpful.I like your ideas and if Townsville can focus on sustainable projects to avoid “ boom and bust” and provide some r.o.i. returns on those projects there is a chance of getting investors.

  12. The Real Mr Batty says:

    The Win News story on Facebook has now had 26,000 views and more staggering has ticked over 1,000 shares whis is enormous and goes to show the level of interest in this from the public.

    1,000 shares is compared to an average circa 50 shares for other stories.

  13. One legged tap dancer says:

    Some great ideas Pie but going by the way the Mayor and the dills at TEL have in the past reacted to suggestions from outside the Gilded Few, your ideas will never be considered. Not because they don’t have merit, but because of who they came from.
    Townsville will never return to its former vibrancy until we are rid of the Mullet, the developers who really run this town, and the drones at TEL including the chairman, board and ceo.
    The crazy part about the current situation is that the Gilded Few would be already gone if the Astonisher had done its job in serving its readers and not its advertisers.

    • The Magpie says:

      The Gilded Few is not a one-size fits all slur … there are a number of them that have been creative and good beyond making a quid … Brad Webb would be a good example. But they are ‘gilded’ because of the protection against examination of their businesses offered them by the Bulletin and the council. The Honeycombe South Townsville railyards deal is an instance … there may be absolutely nothing amiss, but the way open facts are hidden points to one of two things, or both. Either a totally unprofessional failure to understand public relations and issues management, or otherwise, something underhand has taken place.

      Like TEL and especially Jenny Hill and the Adani affair, there is a Cool Hand Luke syndrome pervading this town … ‘a failure to communicate.’ we can only speculate on the reason.

  14. Where's Wally? says:

    I find it interesting through this whole Airstrip debacle, those business leaders that signed off as supporting the council in the Bulletin in October last year have all gone completely silent. Especially since it came to light that Phil Batty was requesting information (and not taking no for an answer) as well as the councillors not actually knowing or understanding what they were voting for.

    Wonder if we’ll ever hear from them again, the Guardian & Win News should seek their comment on recent developments and whether their support still stands.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      I wrote via Aust Post to all but one of the signatories (couldn’t find an address) questioning their knowledge of Adani and the mine, and whether if better informed (I supplied URLs to reports) they would still support the project. Not a single acknowledgement nor response.

  15. XWaterworker says:

    I am not sure that Townsville’s future is in Tourism. It is all a matter of competitive advantage. If you lived in Sydney, or Shanghai, and you were planning your holidays, where would you go? If you were interested in waves, would you go to Townsville to use their beaut new wave pool, or would you go to the Gold Coast or Waikiki to access the real thing. How does Radical Bay stack against Fraser Island or the Whitsundays?

    Let us look at where Townsville really shines- where we could become a leading industrial centre worldwide. We need is a future (rather than past) focus. And imagination, and courage.

    Think worldwide, which city has a very high insolation (sunny days per year), large quantities of cheap land(worthless for anything else), access to one of the richest minerals provinces in the world, a high volume industrial port, a skilled workforce, world class research facilities, and an almost limitless water supply within 100kms? Can anyone think of a place like that? Now can anyone think of another place as good?

    Within the next twenty of thirty years, humanity will lose access to fossil fuels for obvious reasons. Energy intensive industries will need access to renewable energy (or nuclear). Industries like minerals processing. Or manufacturing (batteries anyone). Or data farms. Or biotech industries (that need large growing ponds on cheap land).

    How to go from thought farts to things happening? Pretty straightforward- and it is not sending a press release to the Bulletin.

    Amend the planning scheme to make these uses Right of Use across the Bohle Plains. Offer 30 year Rates holidays. Get the port, the Airport, Aurizon, Main Roads, Sunwater, Department of State Development, Stanwell, JCU, TCC together so that each can work out what they can offer to potential investors. Then TEL can market the package. Approach metals refiners in China and India. Tesla. Solar energy manufacturers. And plenty of others.

    Anyway that’s my contribution.

    • The Magpie says:

      And thanks for those valid points. but please note that The ‘Pie said this in his preamble to his ideas:’The following are mainly about attracting tourists, but that is not to ignore the single most important issue – the almost automatic expansion of the city’s industrial base when it has access to adequate affordable power’.

      Cairns is Tinsel Town, we are will always be Muscle Town.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      I agree that tourism isn’t going to be a major part of Townsville’s future attractiveness, IF it’s just based on doing what everybody else is doing (that is, catch up). (Why build a huge chimney to see a small part of the starry sky when you can drive west and see the whole sky? Why reproduce SF’s tramways – checked the technology behind it??)

      Townsville is a perfect base location. Come to Townsville then take day trips out to see a whole range of interesting, picturesque, beautiful places. Go on day trips then come back to a comfortable ***** hotel or B&B. Instead of $15m for Adani invest $1m to help Billabong Sanctuary improve on what’s already excellent, but could be brilliant; invest $1m to create visitor facilities at AIMS that allow them to open more frequently.

      Promote Townsville not as somewhere to stop by on the way to Cairns or Mt Isa, but as the perfect base for activities and trips not just in but also out of Townsville.

      • The Magpie says:

        Your opening gambit is contradictory, Mike … the two things you mention are what no other place is or can do – at least not on a ready-made mountain in literally the middle of town just minutes from your hotel and restaurants as well as other attractions.

        The ‘Pie has always been irked that TEL, tourist promotions and proposals NEVER originate with someone putting themselves in the place of the would-be visitor and all the necessary procedure just to get here. It has always been amazing how some believe this ‘hub’ myth … people will NOT come here as tourists to be continually and exhaustively trotting around the region, where frankly – with the honourable exception of Billabong Sanctuary – there is fuck all to woo someone on a break for a limited time, where big chunks of relaxation in the traditional manner are sought. And there is a pre-conceived idea in Sydney or Melbourne of what they expect to be different, even something as mundane as that bug Greenie no-no palm trees. Diversions and attractions close at hand are what are required. Grey nomads do what you suggest, and they do not frequent hotels or spent like fly-in tourists on restaurants and shops.

        And the SF tram mention was illustrative only, modern technology would drive the damn things. Obviously. For Christ’s sake!

        • XWaterworker says:

          Perhaps a little less defensiveness, Magpie?

          If you want, people can use your blog to solicit expert input from others to refine or test ideas.

          For example I can confirm that it is a myth that additional stars can be seen from the bottom of a well or chimney during the day. See https://www.snopes.com/science/well.asp

          • The Magpie says:

            OK, make it a planetarium by day then, but you will find the idea does work at night, because it effectively nullifies ambient light – easily proven by standing in a sheltered place enclosed on all sides. At least you’re thinking about it.

            As regards defensiveness, it is exasperating that the ‘refining and testing’ of ideas is a full stop negative, without any attempt to work around inevitable hurdles of a core good idea.

  16. Minstrel says:


    A new number from the Minstrel
    (With acknowledgement to the leader of the original Rat Pack, The Chairman of The Board – Cranky Franky
    As sung by the leader of Townsville’s pack of rats)

    Sly Way

    And now..the end is near
    And so I face the enquiry’s curtain
    My friend, I’ll say it clear
    I’ve fucked it up, of this I’m certain
    I’ve lived a life of bull
    I’ve marched each and every labor day
    And more…much more than this
    I’ve stuffed it …my ..way

    Regrets, Ive had a few
    But none of them, the papers mention
    Adani told me what to do
    And I saw it through, without confession
    I planned each brain-fart course
    Each secret step along the by-way
    And more, much more than this
    I spun it my way

    Yes, there were times
    I’m sure they knew
    When I told more lies than I could chew
    But through it all when there was doubt
    They ate it up – till Jacob spat it out!
    I faced it all
    The airport stalled
    And shit came my way

    I’ve ducked, I’ve dodged and lied
    I’ve got my fill, and I hate losing
    But now, as votes subside
    I find it all not so amusing
    To think I did all that
    And may I say, not all was my way
    Oh no, oh no, not me
    It was the sly way

    For look at this town – what has it got?
    Rubbish on footpaths, water that’s fucked.
    I say the things I think they feel
    And none of the words – not one is real
    The record shows
    I’m on the nose
    For doing it….
    my…. way.

  17. Bentley says:

    Thanks EXWATERWORKER. Spoken to Prof. Simon Bartlett recently? The region’s potential is exceptional.

  18. Council workers "shovel" says:

    I read today that a townsville city council “spokesperson” not the mayor, is saying that 900 jobs would have gone to rockhampton if they didn’t spend the 18mil. Then later says 1200 direct jobs for townsville itself. Townsville city council would never sit back and watch this many jobs go by is also what they said. So why did this spokesperson sit back and not say anything when the ceo was sacking 300 “actual real” jobs were being cut to serve the city not a dream 700km away. I’d love to know the name of these commenters they keep pushing out from the council to answer questions. Gutless from the mayor. Stand in front of the crowd just like les tyrell did with the water pricing and face the real people. A good news paper would have asked for the report proving that number. Council needs to be sacked even the spokespeople that keep appearing.

    • Dearie Me says:

      It may have been 300 sackings but far more have left because they could not work with the new corrupt management. Total payments in redundancies total over $20 million since she started. Council currently has nearly 30 jobs asvertised on the vacancy board and this is just what the vastly diminished People and Culture ( now that’s a joke) can process. The staff culture gets viler day by day. No management remain from the old council. Years of corporate knowledge has been lost and replaced by cronies and yes men.

  19. The old peterbuilt says:

    I’ve just been informed that under international law native title can only exist if the land in question was settled and not invaded so all you greens and so called indigenous activists make up your mind what you want. Invasion day or native title. As I’ve said before I am of indigenous decent. 50years ago our grand mother said. When the BRITISH came here a lot of terrible things were done but no one alive today did or caused those events so we need to move forward and get on with life. 50years later I repeat my grandmothers words. I am pleased she had that attitude because as a family we have all had enjoyable and productive lives and our children continue to do so without hate or self pity.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Mate, you are one of this blog’s most sincere and sensible contributors.
      Your posts are a welcome change from the petulant outbursts by people such as Anthony Mundine and Adam Goodes, who appear to have permanent chips on their shoulders.

    • The Magpie says:

      Are we already under LG administration? Why is the unidentified ‘council spokesman’ making statements which should only be made by the person with the remit to do so … OUR MAYOR OR AN ELECTED COUNCILLOR? OR it just actually Damien ‘Adolf” Tomlinson chucking in the required quotes? How would we know, that is why attribution is so crucial in real newspapers. And to repeat a previous point, surely the remit to make comments like this lies solely with the top ELECTED representative which is, sadly, Jenny Hill.

      Pile on top of that this quote: “There are strong protections in the deal that ensure these jobs will go to Townsville locals,” the spokesman said.

      Care to share, chum? Like what enforceable protections? You bet your arse you won’t, because you could drive a fully laden mine truck through whatever your flimsy, self-serving and almost surely corrupt arguments.

      • Scientician79 says:

        As to be expected the Astonisher assist in defending their friends at the Council.

        As you rightly point out Pie, they have not addressed the specific concerns raised by Mr Katter – especially around legal advice on the enforceability of these employment provisions, assuming such things exist (doubtful). I also suspect even if they are enforceable Adani will have no issues with ignoring them and paying the fines out of the money they saved not building an airport.

        More concerning to me though, the Council believe that the 900 jobs promise justifies this expenditure fully. The defence amounts to, well they wouldn’t give us the jobs if we didn’t gift them the money to build their own airport.

        Sorry but that’s pretty weak, and also sets a dangerous precedent for any company that wants to come to this town and do business. I want to build a new factory, but Mayor Mullet I’m going to need you to pay and build me some of the sheds, give me a big discount on my rates and free water – or I might take these 1000 jobs down to Rocky.

        • The Magpie says:

          It is probably timely to remember this: Clive Palmer, as distasteful as he was and is, sought assistance from both the state government and the TCC – certainly to the tune of much less than $18.5million (and if memory serves, whatever assistance was given it was to be in the form of a loan) – to tide the plant over a rugged financial time and keep the nickel refinery operating. The politic al landscape of the time certainly played a part in staunch Labor mayor Jenny Hill dismissing the request without really thinking it through, a sort of ‘he wouldn’t dare’ arrogance. he did, and the rest is sad history. In the meantime, 300 to 500 jobs have disappeared from the council, and the ratepayers are now stumping up for this flight of fancy of the Adani airstrip. With council staff hierarchy now stacked with Labor has-beens all doggedly singing the same tune, the mayor is now flinging money down a sink hole that will never recover the 11 to 1300 jobs she played a direct or indirect hand in scrapping. Jenny Hill is social venom personified and even if she wasn’t, she has amply demonstrated that she should not be allowed anywhere near a business deal involving public money. Disgraceful.

          It’s a rort folks, a bungled political power play for which you are paying dearly.

          • Grumpy says:

            Not even a loan. It was a guarantee only. Derisively hooted down by Jenny et al. Double standards?

          • The Rolling Eye says:

            Old Messagebank has been and heard about town rousing the troops against Cap’n Mullet.
            We will shortly bear witness to a ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ among the Labor stooges about council (staffers, councillors, fringe dwellers), and a Mary Celeste for all others. Watch this space.

          • The Magpie says:

            In straight political deviousness, The Mullet will win hands down, Les is a vacant faced goof of the first order with a blunt instrument background of a union bully – oops, sorry, organiser. But it is not inconceivable (well, not on this conspiracy nest blog) that Labor is grooming goofy Messagebank for a tilt at the mayoralty as a successor should the Senate gambit somehow work out for Jenny.

            If you think we’ve got trouble now …..

          • The Rolling Eye says:

            Mullet can’t go the senate.
            She owns real estate in malta and would never give up her extra passport.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      I do not have a subscription thus unable to read the article. Can anyone put a transcript on the blog.

      • The Magpie says:

        Nope, but what The ‘Pie does under the first read only rule is take the headline, Google it and pick up the story from the Telegraph or the Herald Sun on a first look basis. (BYW News in th States and Google are in discussion to end the first once only look at news stories on all sites.

  20. Colin Foley says:

    From Elephant

    I found ‘Pie’s “positive” brainstorming refreshingly welcome.

    But here are some of the facts I discovered when investigating Radical Bay’s possibilities.

    All that flat land from the hills to the sand is comprised of approx 13 freehold titles, privately owned.

    TCC or Qld Govt would have to buy it. Last owner (of the lot) I know of is Junipers, the Gold Coast family of “Sea Temple”s fame.

    They paid only about $1.1M for it some 12 years ago, but, for the reasons below, maybe they are stuck with a white elephant.

    The road is on “unallocated State land” and, because of steep gradients and high volume water run-off, I have heard estimates of $20M and $40M to rebuild it. The land owner is apparently the entity who is required to build the road, but only IF and WHEN they develop the land at Radical Bay.

    It’s hard to see any category of project be viable with $20 – $40M of cost loaded onto it. Stalemate.

    I also understand that the big effect TC Yasi inflicted on Radical Bay caused TCC to impose extra requirements on development. More cost.

    • The Magpie says:

      $40million to rebuild the road? Christ, you could build a couple of airstrips for that sort of money. It’s also the amount the Jezzine jazz-up cost.

      But hey, fuck it, too hard basket, modern engineering, lateral thinking and innovative leadership be damned, let’s go to the pub and whinge that our dole doesn’t buy us much booze.

    • No more dredging says:

      Colin, I need to correct a misapprehension about Radical Bay. The site used be a mix of freehold (five titles – about seven acres) and leasehold – large tracts on the hill slopes – with a public road, starting at the back of the bay, right through the middle to the beach. All the leases were taken back by the state many years ago, the public access road was closed and incorporated into the freehold and now the site is one parcel of freehold land (still about 7 acres) with a pretend public pedestrian access track down the eastern side. The freehold land extends to an ‘esplanade’ at the high water mark across the beach frontage. On the king tide next week (9am, Wednesday 31st January), the highest tide ever in Townsville, at 4.11m, will easily slop over the front boundary of the freehold land in Radical Bay – land intended to have large houses built on it as part of the existing, approved Sea Temple resort proposal. These beachfront boundaries would be guaranteed by the state and would be rebuilt, regardless of the cost, if they were ever washed out by a storm surge or cyclonic downpour. Since there is nothing built on the vacant land there, now would be a good time for the state and local government to get together and resume a substantial part of the waterfront before it is completely submerged at ordinary high tide by rising sea levels – bringing down more and more trees – as is happening right now at Horseshoe Bay and, according to today’s TBulletin, is about to cost ratepayers an absolute motza, even extending to building a rockwall there. Radical Bay is a stranded asset belonging solely to the Juniper family who would be the sole beneficiary of any government ‘bailout’. Why should the government or the Council do for the Junipers what they have been doing for Adani? It’s exactly the same equation.

  21. Non Aligned Worker says:

    I looked up the “Little Darwin” blog this morning to see its take on what has been happening around the traps. Seems like they are having a go at Townsville for being a little bit slow.
    How dare they!! That’s our job!
    Still worth a read.

  22. Colin Foley says:

    From Elephant

    Light Rail System for Townsville.
    The tragedy is that the blind creatures sitting in TCC don’t seem to see that the City has a ready made spine for a Light Rail System. That is the existing reserve beside Ingham Road.

    Branch lines could run off that on both side and up the centre of Hugh St, Kings Road, etc. They could be rolled out steadily and extended as demand increases.


    They made sure many of our major roads have reserves down the middle. Absolutely ideal for an LRS to span the City.

    Underpasses could be created for right-turning motorists.

    • Scotty says:

      Pretty sure that reserve has an underground fuel line running through along it – Found out about doing a dial before you dig check a few years back.

  23. Council workers "shovel" says:

    Just wondering if the mayor is going to congratulate the townsville fire. 3 titles in 4yrs but they won’t get a new stadium built for them. Was she at the game, which was broadcast national on fox sports last night. Perfect opportunity for a civic leader to boast about an asset to this dying city. Oh I remember Jane arllett is a big surrporter. Can’t be seen in that sort of crowd but will put a parade on for the footballers. 1 premiership in 20yrs. She must have been at home writing the scripts for the council spokesperson for the news paper to protect her again. Congratulations girls, anyone of you want to run for mayor you have my vote.

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      Not one thing about this on the council Facebook page. But you have a councilor I don’t know asking for people to send in names for great Queenslander awards. I have 10 ladies names for you. Our clown deputy promoting the darts comp that nobody cares about.

      • The Magpie says:

        Innovative use of language but we think we get the drift.

        • Council workers "shovel" says:

          Sorry I should have mentioned that my comments refered to lack of news on the fire girls bUT plenty for a darts comp. You would think that the council and mayor would be surporting the team given the results. Is the mayor a masonginist? Equal rights for women? Ok Mayby bit far fetched. Anyway I thinks it’s disgraceful that she’s more worried about putting her head on TV for a hard rubbish collection promise then a NATIONAL sporting team with great success.

        • The Rolling Eye says:

          Mullet must be an avid reader, dear ‘Pie.
          Mere hours after these posts about the fire she suddenly decided to plaster her facebook presences with comments and pictures of The Fire.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ah, now you’ve got The ‘Pie daydreaming about Big Suzie B disciplining Paul The Angry Ant Jacob and slam dunking goofball Messagebank Walker.

      Meanwhile, the current incompetent incumbent is probably heading for a ‘full court press’ of a very different nature.

    • Scientician79 says:

      Saw something on twitter earlier today, function down the strand at 3:30 on the first day of the new school year, could have done with a little more time and planning I would think.


  24. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Rather than an airport in the middle of nowhere TCC could add a few million and build something like this to benefit the entire community and give visitors something else to do when they are in town. Wave pool in western Sydney has been approved, $26 million and 225 jobs to go with it.


  25. Lady Byron says:

    I love your idea to renew Radical Bay, Pie.

    I don’t care who owns the rooted road to Radical Bay, can us poor sods who live here on Maggie and who don’t own a 4WD, maybe one day enjoy the beach there again?

    My friends and neighbours tell me wonderful tales of when the old resort was in full swing in the 70s/80s, with disco dance floors and all sorts of shenanigans going on.

    It just seems a crying shame that a solution to the road repairs is stuck in the too hard basket, but Mr. Adani can get hold of funds with a click of his fingers.


  26. Crabclaw says:

    Just doing a bit of reading on another matter and came across an interesting, older article so the figures may have changed a little now.

    Are we all aware that within 100kms of Townsvile there livith 50% of named butterfly species? 144 species found within the CBD!

    This diversity is in large part attributed to a “vision” of a local alderman back in the 80’s in encouraging locals to plant butterfly attracting plants in the area ie, a council initiative. http://anpsa.org.au/APOL14/jun99-1.html

    The point is, we have to be more than the home of the Cowboys and the supposed centre for mining. (The state is littered with old mining towns that had nowhere to go) Council representatives are tasked with employing people with big picture abilities, tying everything together so developments and projects are all facing the same way. Townsville doesn’t feel it has an identity. It feels all disjointed and begging for something to save it, unite it and show who we are and what we want to be. Its like sitting on your arse and waiting to win lotto (or Adani) cause that will solve all the problems! Until next week at least…

    V’8’s and Cowboys just aren’t enough or sustainable. A nice simple SWAT analysis would be a great place to start with our climate and weather the primary influences.

    We can be Culture- huge scope, Adventure, Families, Sport, Romance, Nature, History, Arts, Innovation (now that’s a big word hey), Older people and not so mature older people and any other theme you like but united and blended under a common theme. A ‘fit” if you like. Simple and clear. Just seems all fuzzy and jagged now.

  27. Droopy draws says:

    Hi Pie and all, back from a little far off island R&R and been catching up on the goings on over the last few weeks. Geez, missed some juicy news!
    Well done, Phil Batty on your dogged action in getting outside interest. And to everyone here who’ve played their part.

    What stands out to me in all media response from TCC on the bucket of shit they’ve sold everyone is the height of arrogance that no elected Councillor has stepped up to the plate and owned it.

    This ‘spokesman’; who is he?

    If it wasn’t so serious an issues for our flailing old town it would be laughable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or will see an example of such ignorance.

    Nice list of ideas too, Pie. I’m keen to add comment on a few as well.

    All the best for the year ahead.

  28. Sir Ossis O'Fliver says:

    Came across an article in the Sunday Mail detailing events in Queensland on Australia Day.

    I won’t mention the places (apart from ours. Townsville.)These included:-



    But for Townsville “Flag Raising Ceremony” YAY !!!.

    Don’t know about you lot but I am going to Townsville. Have a very happy “Australia Day”.

  29. Dave of Kelso says:

    TCC flyer in letter box yesterday re hard rubbish collection. If Brisbane experience is anything to go by, the unscrupulous from other suburbs will be dumping their rubbish on Kelso footpaths.

  30. Ex NQ says:

    ‘Terrier’ is a great description for Phillip Batty – loyal, determined, tenacious. I worked very closely with Phillip on a long term project in the Whitsundays a few years ago (just before he was seconded to the London Olympics), and I found him honourable and a joy to work with, – not just in company but also to observe (and learn) his skills in managing, diplomacy, lobbying etc. Odd, of all the time I spent with him, I never knew which side of politics he was on/voted for. He is a ‘big picture’ person with ‘big picture’ ideas – he doesn’t think in the short term, or for personal gain, but more ‘if it’s good for the community then everyone wins’ sort of bloke.
    Some examples of this are Phillip’s successful efforts/lobbying getting Cruise ships to stop over in the Whitsundays, as well as getting Virgin Australia to service flights there.
    Phillip’s tenacious yet diplomatic efforts in trying to uncover the dealings/arrangements by Townsville (and Rockhampton) Councils means he’s on to something that ‘doesn’t seem right’.
    From experience, I can tell you that Townsville Council’s ‘attack is the best defence’ mode on Phillip was very, very unwise.
    As I’m I’m no longer a NQlder (now on the NSW Mid Coast :-( ) I don’t feel I have the right to be a ‘keyboard warrior’ on this matter, however I do feel you should know a bit more about ‘The Terrier’ who is Phillip Batty.
    I hope you read this Phillip – the world needs more people like you.

    • The Magpie says:

      An appreciated and enlightening comment. A telling part of your statement is that you never knew what side of politics he is on. Well, we still don’t. The fact that the two current Liars-In-Chief in Walker Street are Labor professionals is not Philip’s motivation, it is entirely their possibly corrupt and certainly unethical and arrogantly cavalier behaviour on the Adani airstrip issue. If you check … and The ‘Pie has … he cannot find in any reference in published or private statements from Philip to Labor, LNP or – shudder – Greens.

      So, ya reckon he oughta run for mayor? We could do worse, but that is damning with faint praise on even the briefest consideration of the incumbent. From a personal point of view, The ‘Pie prefers outside the tent whizzing all over the occupants … no matter who will be parking their bum on the mayoral plush, the ‘Philip Threat’ ‘Batty Battering, maybe?) will make them be very circumspect in their behaviour.

      • The Real Mr Batty says:

        First of all thank you to JD for the kind words and whilst those things are not widely known I was responsible for the P&O Cruise ships first putting Airlie Beach on the schedule which has led to many more in the years that followed.
        I did also “do the deal” with Virgin several years ago now when the local council and Tourism Whitsundays had failed. I was only responsible for the first Virgin direct flights from Sydney on a once a week basis( I wanted people to have to stay 7 nights) which quickly let to Virgin introducing a Wednesday service from Sydney followed by bi weekly services from Melbourne, then Jetstar jumped in and the rest is history as they say.
        These negotiations and lobbying and organising were done as an individual with no formal clout to use but despite this the deals got done and were then handed off to council and tourism/chamber of commerce bodies to take it from there.
        As for my politics both you and JD are correct in that I do not have a leaning in any direction, for me its about getting things done and making things happen. I used to work for the legend that is Kerry Packer some years ago and not trying was not an acceptable position to take, failing was ok but not trying was a big no no.
        I say again I believe Townsville has probably the most potential for growth and progress of any city I know ( i choose to live here not have to live here) and as Pie is aware I have made some unreported behind the scenes efforts to secure jobs for people in this town too since I returned but seem to hit walls everywhere.
        I am not and do not want to be seen as negative and shooting down possible good initiatives but I/we cannot go blindly into deals and distort the facts to win votes (council votes) in order to push these things through.
        Council has the power and authority to do great things for the region but as an outsider looking in we seem to be failing at every turn both from a community/business development and from a tourism perspective.
        Things need to change and I will try hard to do my bit to make things change.

        • The Real Mr Batty says:

          Not wanting to monopolise the comments here there is one more thing.
          Following a cyclone years ago with all the road closures caused by floods and debris JD and I set up twitter feeds for EVERY highway in Queensland which reported accidents, weather related issues, fires and general hazards on every section of the road.
          These have been active now for 10 years or more and still are, for any regular travelers of the roads look on twitter for the highways you use and you will get feeds from everywhere advising on road closures, accidents etc. Just search @CaptCook_Hwy ‏ for example to get yours.
          All done without publicity or fanfare we just thought it was a good idea which would help people as they do business or travel for pleasure in Qld, never sought financial gain or notoriety and 10 years later the feeds are still active. They are key when cyclones hit or major weather events happen and collectively have thousands of followers.

        • The Magpie says:

          Ummm, is that a campaign speech?

          • The Real Mr Batty says:

            Hell no!!!!!!!

            Just kind of needed to clarify JD’s comment a little and give him some credit too for the Highways twitter feed.

            A campaign speech would be far more entertaining I think.

        • Alahazbin says:

          PHIL, Did you ever meet Richard Power? There was a man with vision.

      • Ex NQ says:

        Thanx for the reply :-)
        I really don’t think Phillip’s agenda for bringing up the Adani/Townsville/Rockhampton Councils issue was motivated for personal gain – that’s not his style. He’s brought this issue to the attention to all because he knows ‘something’s not right’.
        However, I reckon he would be a brilliant CEO!

    • Swinger says:

      Maybe he is neither. Perhaps he belongs to the significant minority, who vote based on the policies being presented at each election rather than on tribalism.

      They are the ones who decide elections.

      I once had an idea that we could save money on elections if we allowed most people to permanently register their vote for all elections. Why bother Muddy or some of the right wing tribalists on this blog with having to get up on election day? You don’t need to print How to Vote cards to advise the tribalists how they are supposed to vote. The parties could then concentrate their resources on proposing their policies in detail to those who care- the swinging voters.

      Maybe it is silly, but off hand I can’t see the flaw.

      • The Magpie says:

        If you are a regular to this blog, you will be aware that The’Pie has droned on endlessly about people trying to read his politics simply do not accept the fact that he is what he terms an ‘issues based voter’. The tribes don’t like this sort of person, mumbling irrelevant stuff about loyalty, principles, the good of the party, Ming, this, Gough that. Very needy, many voters, too frightened to use their brains, which politically have become rusty through the misuse that comes with allowing others to infiltrate unquestioned ideas in to your consciousness, reinforcing an outmoded ‘us and them’ manipulative trope.. Sheer bloody laziness, compounded by the fact that these folks don’t have the wit or the will to realise they don’t have accept the ENTIRE platform of a party and if its important enough, let a single issue guide the hand that signs the X (for The ‘Pie, Labor’s move on negative gearing gets his approval, and if that grows to be a pivotal issue affecting the country -well, it already is – he will vote accordingly and lose the friendship of his well heeled and comfy ‘friends’.

        So be it … it’s my bloody country, too.

  31. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    A couple of imteresting points in WFTAG’s item in today’s Astonisher with minutes of their meeting with Mayor Mullet and TCC.

    Firstly confirmation by Mullet that the much touted 26 month period for delivery of the second pipeline has not yet commenced and the much publicized “ground breaking” event in November was therefore nothing more than a pre-election publicity stunt.

    Secondly that TCC need to come clean and be clear about what they mean by “water security”, which Mullet neatly sidesteps when questioned in the meeting minutes.

    Well dpn2e to WFTAG for putting these questions to TCC and publishing their response. Lord knows we hear mothing but spin and weasel words from Council.

    • The Magpie says:

      The most interesting aspect from this blog’s point of view is the possibility that this the turning point for the Astonisher … more that they are broaching subjects (today, for instance, water and the hard rubbish collection) in a manner they have declined to do before. It’s in the fact rather than the substance at the moment, they still leave he really probing background questions out but they are bringing these issues into the mainstream, because it was ever thus that TV and even the timid ABC radio follow the ‘leader’ on many stories (honorable exception WIN NEws on the Adani airstrip funding debacle last week).

    • Mike Shearer says:

      I’d like to know how the new pipeline is going to make any difference. In theory it can shift 4 times as much water per hour as the existing one. But there is no point in filling the dam over 15% because the extra water just evaporates (see a contribution to this blog some weeks ago. The only way it can help is to bypass the dam and deliver directly to the water treatment plant. So is the new pipeline just an insurance against the old one failing?

  32. Sceptical Sally says:

    Take the time to read today’s online Bulletin story summarising the minutes of the last meeting between council reps and WFTAG members. It was a complete farce with more ducking and weaving than straight answers to serious questions.
    The ‘non-meeting’ in Canberra with the PM reads like something from a Monty Python sketch.
    The almost inescapable conclusion is that the ‘action groupies’ are being played for mugs, with the mayor’s “no comment” on the Toonpan PR stunt particularly galling.

    • The Magpie says:

      The stunt speaks for itself, and frankly, there’s bugger all she could say that wouldn’t make things worse. And Linda and her WFT group … well The ‘Pie correctly predicted they’d have their teeth drawn by this corrupt system of governance between Walker and George Streets. But full marks for trying, naive as they were/are. At least Brad Webb refused to be duck-shoved around and was meticulous in his research … for all the good that was, given he was there as a Jenny figurehead trophy in a delaying tactic.

  33. XWaterworker says:

    I wonder if the WFTAG group really know what they are doing. I see on their site they are seeking $500M from “Government” for “Water Security” which in their terms means being able to water your garden without constraint, and without having to pay for it, irrespective of the weather. (There is no constraint currently of water used inside a house).

    Those of us with Asset Management experience know that the capital cost of an asset is a small proportion of the cost of ownership.

    If WFTAG are successful then TCC will include the new asset on their books, and collect enough additional rates to depreciate it and operate it. Depreciation on a $500M asset is at least $10M per year- I don’t know what maintenance would be, but it has to be a couple of million. And that is before you include the pumping costs of $xM per annum. We are talking hundreds of dollars per household rates per year.

    There are 55,000 detached dwellings (those with gardens) in T’ville, so $500M translates to over $9,000 per household. And that does not take into account that many householders who want green gardens already have bores installed at their own expense.

    If you were offered $9,000 would you spend it on a green garden? In my case I accept that I live in the dry tropics, and I have other interests rather than gardening- I don’t water even when there are no restrictions. I could use that $9,000 far better on a couple of year’s supply of nice red wine.

    • The Magpie says:

      Your maths maybe OK, they seem to be on the face of it, but they are based on a highly questionable premise that ‘(water security) in their(residents) terms means being able to water your garden without constraint, and without having to pay for it, irrespective of the weather’.

      There are many of us who are more interested in the stability and attractiveness to industry that a secure water supply will bring. For The ‘Pie, that is up there with a better deal on power for the city and region. Also, your breakdown doesn’t include the hundreds, nay thousands of businesses in the city. But still, it would be a considerable impost unless the $500m is a straight infrastructure grant and not a loan, as it would seem it should be. Then your figures all go to hell in hand basket.

      Also, and this is genuine question, how can a council regulate internal household water usage, short of a draconian and presumably cripplingly expensive rationing system? (Show me the politician or even the bureaucrat – apart from The Impaler – who would even fleetingly consider that.)

      Belittling people who ideally want to beautify their environment is a pretty tawdry argument, as right as you may be. Makes us again seem selfish with an over-developed sense of entitlement … which we may well be in some areas, but access to reasonable water supplies is not one of the those areas.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        You’re business reference is spot on Pie, and not only ongoing requirements of water intensive businesses who require a secure supply for production etc but also for any multi residential or commercial projects that just require an initial supply. The old hospital site is a classic example, what would be a lovely garden and outdoor area that can be completed incorporating the latest dry tropics design, rainwater harvesting and water saving products for the complex, but without an initial allocation to bed in the gardens it simply can’t proceed. There are many other projects around town delayed or compromised by a lack of water security and yet the pumps stayed turned off for months, the compounding failure of this council is simply hard to comprehend.

      • XWaterworker says:

        No belittlement intended.

        Without appropriate advice, I suspect that WFTAG are not aware that their success will necessarily lead to increases in rates of several hundred dollars per household, irrespective of whether the funding is a grant or a loan. Depeciation and operating costs happen in both cases.

        Perhaps another commenter with accounting expertise could explain it better.

        • The Magpie says:

          Depreciation is an accounting method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life. Businesses depreciate long-term assets for both tax and accounting purposes.

          Given that tangible life of a water pipeline would be/should decades – up to 100 years done correctly in the first place, which one would hope for $500m – how does this affect the average resident and/or business to the extent you suggest? Why $10million when it can reasonably be expected/agreed that when the time comes, another grant will be available (if not, the refuser would put themselves at the peril of the polls)? To this simple mind, that would mean that a depreciation charge would not be necessary.
          From these questions, it suggests The’Pie’s grasp of accounting is probably only marginally better that Mayor Mullet’s, which is SFA, but depreciation is a ‘method’ and surely methods can change.

          • XWaterworker says:

            I was hoping someone with expertise might answer this- however in its absence I will have a go.
            Accounting standards require that depreciation is reported as an operating expense- there is no choice.

            Unless the depreciation is matched by revenue, then an operating loss is reported. The auditor will then make an adverse comment- basically you are not financially sustainable- for very good reason.

            You can’t use possible future grants that may or may not happen as an excuse.

            Many US Cities are decaying- they are insolvent as they cannot renew their infrastructure because they did not collect enough revenue to pay the depreciation.

            So not increasing rates to cover the new asset would be grossly financially irresponsible.

          • The Magpie says:

            OK get that then, (and thanks, it was The ‘Pie’s genuine ignorance on this matter that prompted the question – be a good policty for the Mullet, eh?) so you are saying no matter what nattering emits from the Walker Street Wankery and Mayor Mullet, we are in for a whopping rates hike (although probably engineered to com after March 2020.)

          • XWaterworker says:

            Well it will get hidden in all the other depreciation and operating costs, but yes, there will be a rate rise as a result of this new asset. I learned a long time ago that there are very few magic puddings in the world.

            As to whether it is “whopping” or not- well $200-$300 per property per year as a result of this project is only 10% rise.

            Is it worth it? Would the ratepayers of Townsville consider that not having water restrictions when the dam runs low every 8 or 10 years worth an extra $200-$300 per year which is $2000 to $3000 per household for each dry spell avoided?

            How do you think the 14,000 WFTAG members would vote (if they knew)?

          • The Magpie says:

            What’s this ‘only’ business Tonto? Christ, can you imagine even the current Queen of the Walker Street Wankery going for a 10% rate hike describing it as ‘only’. But crumbs, who are we to complain, we’ve now got the lowest parking fines around.

          • Kenny Kennett says:

            Is it a given that we will own the 2nd pipeline? Is it also a given that we will have to contribute to it? Wasn’t the first pipeline built and owned by the State Government?

      • Rusty Nail says:

        Having visited the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia recently I think I might have the answer to Townsville’s water woes. In many of the towns the local councils have thoughtfully removed all lawn from the footpaths and replaced it with gravel, and many of the residents have carried the theme further with gravel front yards. I wouldn’t call it ugly; not attractive either. Something to think about?

        • The Magpie says:


        • Mike Shearer says:

          Hmmm.. my partner and are now trying to keep alive depute the restrictions the butterfly garden that Alderman Val Valentine and academic husband Peter established. The trees they planted are now providing lots of shade, it’s about 4 or 5 degrees cooler inside the garden than on the black bitumenised street. I am aghast at the idea of replacing the garden beds with gravel or pebbles. There’s a lot of research extolling the personal and social benefits of vegetation, Townsville needs more not less. One idea I ran past the “old” engineering dept of TCC was bitumenising only 2 central lanes in all suburban streets and using the sides for alternating parking and gardens (one benefit if if done properly uses psychology to slow down thru vehicles). Idea canned due too watering problems (i.e. not enough of it). Loss of the black bitumen saves money in the long run and reduces the heat bank that heats the suburbs at night.

  34. Tropical. says:

    Neil Diamond has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
    He has cancelled the third leg of his tour which includes Australia.
    Hot of the presses as they say.

    • The Magpie says:

      yeah, and The ‘Pie’s first thought: good luck to ticket holders seeking a rightful refund. Here comes the shit fight.

  35. Rusty Nail says:

    How do I do that? I only have one that shows the bare footpaths and unfortunately the two houses in the shot have front lawns so doesn’t completely reinforce my point. Taking photos of barren front yards wasn’t high on the agenda. The photo was taken in Kadina but the same all over the peninsula.

  36. Cantankerous but happy says:

    More than half of my yard is white gravel and assorted size rocks with a range of colourful clay pots with arid plants, right through to the pool area where 3 different timber decks and one for BBQ and dining are joined through the rock beds , most of it ideas from Arizona where they have turned it into an art form and other dry places, a friend of mine lives in Pheonix and has a spectacular garden that I took some ideas from, I only have about 100sq/m of grass out of 700sq/m block for the dog. . Google “Arizona pebble gardens” and have a look, some of them are spectacular and if people want to look at ways of setting Townsville apart from every other tropical city in Australia and create points of interest, would be a perfect place to start.

    • Grumpy says:

      Settled, then.

      Bi-annual Magpie’s knees-up at Crankypants’ place.

      Fully catered.


      • Sandgroper says:

        Cranky, I’ll even bring a potted cactus from the arid West.
        “Potted” and “cactus” are both appropriate descriptors of the aftermath of a Magpie knees-up.

  37. Sir Ossis O'Fliver says:

    I was in Pormpuraaw some years ago (this is up on Cape York Peninsular).
    It was very dry and dead looking as they had been droughted for some years.
    As we were driving around looking at the town we noticed a brilliant green yard down the road.
    On closer inspection it was revealed the “lawn” consisted of empty VB beer cans to a depth of about 12 inches.
    Could this be the answer to a greener Townsville? Or at least make us ambivalent to the problem and merry of spirit regardless.

  38. The Magpie says:

    Yer not gunna believe this!!
    Make sure you watch right through to 2.22 …


    • Tenacious D says:

      HA HA HA FFS, love the Magpie on the dartboard, you must be getting under her skin! What a pathetic piece of dribble from our completely out of her depth Mayor!

      • Scientician79 says:

        I love the total lack of self awareness.

        What difficulty has she ever faced dealing with this towns “media”. They reprint and defend everything she has to say.

        Maybe we should start flooding social media with pictures of airports and mullet herself on dartboards.

      • Council workers "shovel" says:

        Hey mayor guess what picture we have on our dart board at our Depot? You are a disgraceful thing that has no idea how many people hate you. Now we know you are reading with great intrest rest assured we ( council employees ) are telling our stories of truth to people like Phil and Peter and the magpie. You days are numbered. Every employee you speak to just wonder which ones are talking?? Oh that’s right you don’t talk to us, you’ll never be as good as les tyrell was. How’s that hard rubbish collection going? Saw today one of the new used trucks didn’t even get out of the yard because it wouldn’t start. Also told we have to wait if one of those trucks breaks down because they have priority over every other vehicle. Hey I don’t mind our big blue basic blitz trucks sitting doing noting while we get paid to do the same. PUT this on your dart board.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Second hand trucks eh! I see ‘old mate’ in procurement is still second rate.

          • Alahazbin says:

            Deals on Wheels is his bible.

          • Council workers "shovel" says:

            Yeah old mate has stuffed up fleet like you wouldn’t believe. My jaw dropped when the mechanics told me that it is a directive from the mayor herself that the hard rubbish collection trucks get priority over anything. I also noticed the absence of paul Jacob in the news story and launch of this. But mocha Chino is there getting his picture taken. Love them or hate them the last 2 councils (,excluding the mayor ) were far more in control then this lot. Absolute power is not a good thing in politics. So much money going somewhere but no checks? 10mil Jamie durie, 18mil adani, countless millions to redundancy payments and wages, 2.5mil plus plus plus to hard rubbish, new depots owned by devoplers who also double as water task force? All the consultants from down south to tell us what we need and then the big one, TEL and the townsville airport. If Bob katter is serious then he needs to ask where is all the money Goin. Call a full audit and an administrator in before it’s too late.

    • Sir Ossis O'Fliver says:

      Wot a total dick.
      May as well admit on the front page of the astonisher the MAGAPIE is winning.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      Oh my God!!!!

      Another cringe worthy effort from The Mullet…. and I assume another example of our rates money at work?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Dear ‘Pie, Mayor Mullet has publicly admitted your success and her frustration at your, and others oversight. Well done.

      Do we get to see a darts game at the Astonisher’s editoral offfice?

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      She must think people will warm to that as being funny. They tested Donald trump for mental fitness what about her?

      • The Magpie says:

        No doubt His Radiance Tony Mooney can supply a suitably pliant doctor for the examination, and the same shonky outcome as The Trumpet.

  39. Woodduck says:

    I’m another one who refuses to by the Astonisher, and can’t be bothered googling the headlines to read the stories. But the headlines and the stories today,seemed subscriber worthy. But the the very same stories do nothing for tourism. The city is in desperate need of good solid leadership. With O’Tool, the 3 stooges and the Mullet in control you mob are rooted. I’ve yet to work out what O’Tool is good for, the 3 stooges are doing the same as they done, the last 3 years with crime. Fuck all. And a council that gifts a billionaire 18.5 million dollars of ratepayers money. Money that could be used for other things like, I dunno, water. But it’s not all doom and gloom, once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up

  40. Woodduck says:

    Ok, I should read the comments before posting, but we all seem on the same page. And what a lame arsed attempt by the Mullet.

  41. Sandgroper says:

    A Mullet dartboard would be a best-seller at K-Mart, Big-W, Target and sports stores in Townsville.
    Talk about losing the plot! Is Dolan on holiday?

    • The Rolling Eye says:

      Hollandaise finally got chucked under the bus for f*king up on advice given on a recent electoral event. It’s easy to appear an expert in an echo chamber.

  42. The old peterbuilt says:

    Photo in the bulletin today of police attending the protests at walker st. Isn’t it amazing how quickly and how many responded but try and ring police link if your car is being stolen or your house is broken into and see the level of service that you get. Don’t bother visiting a police station outside of business hours as they will be closed. The city is about the only one open on the weekend. Thanks to Anna alphabet the police service has just become another budget restricted beauicratic ineffective government department. The three stooges talk about increased police numbers. To what avail. So they can catch offenders only to see them released by judges administering soft socialist laws. Last week a push was on to address out of control youth crime in mt isa so they took police from cairns and Townsville. FFS.

  43. The Real Mr Batty says:

    I hope someone got a grab of the image as it looks like it has been removed now, at least I cannot see it on youtube, stopped at 2:21

  44. Lord Howard Hertz says:

    Mayor Mullet … the git that keeps on giving. (No, not a typo).

  45. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Just proves the “Curse of Jenny Hill” is real, the town has been fucked since she took over, drought, poverty and pests in abundance, she even fucked poor old Neil Diamond who thought about visiting the place and ended his career, she has gone global, and the way she throws that dart into your neck Pie who knows what sort of other voodoo shit she has in stored for Townsville.

  46. Kenny Kennett says:

    Coming back to things that can be created to attract people to your city……..
    Four people had an idea in 1969 that ended up attracting some 400,000 people over 3 days to a place in New York called Bethel. Most wouldn’t recognize that name but they would recognize The dairy farmer named Max Yasgur and the legendary township of Woodstock which is about 30kms away. And 49 years on, thousands of people continue to flock to the legendary township every year to spend big and see where the legend of Woodstock took place. The concert lost money but the future continues to roll in it. All from an idea.

  47. The Magpie says:

    hahahahaha … what further proof do need that Mayor Mullet’s lair at the Walker street Wankery is full of smoke and mirrors … well, mirrors anyway. In her Magpie promotional video, we get this shot of the dart board (what chance in real comp Mr Fagg if he didn’t notice a wee problem with the target.)

  48. I'll be plucked says:

    Re parking fine reduction by TCC – how the pluck is reducing the cost of a parking fine in the CBD supposed to attract more people to shop in the city??? According to Mayor Mullet it should – what the pluck? Who thought up this NONSENSE – this mob go from real, real bad to absolute effing unbelievable! How about a reduction in the actual parking fee you bunch of lemons!!!

    • The Magpie says:

      Uh oh, here comes the Charm Offensive … more like offensive smarm. Realising just how deep in the do-dos she now is with the electorate, the Mullet trots out a real winner – she thinks. And what a strange boast … Townsville now has the lowest parking FINES in the state. Since fines are at the discretion of the council, and are hardly likely to solve the CBD parking problem, this is straight-out politicking, or a make good as it is known. No mention that the fines were ridiculously high to start with, and are a major source of ‘voluntary taxation’ for the council, the loss of revenue is clearly a Mullet ploy to spent – or in this case forego – public money to ingratiate herself with an electorate that has finally wised up to her.

      And more cunning reasoning. Quote: Cr Hill said she hoped the changes (lower parking fines), combined with the relatively cheap parking cost, would encourage more motorists to park in the CBD.

      It certainly will. Rejoice CBD workers, life just got easier. And businesses, thank he mayor for such enlightened planning.

    • Interested Observer says:

      It was the Mayor who drastically increased the parking fines in the first place looking to rip off people visiting the CBD who might be late back to a parking space.

      She made things significantly worse and now she’s trying to tell us what a wonderful thing she is doing for the CBD by reducing her rediculous increase.

      There is absolutely no doubt this stupid woman has been getting belted by the CBD traders for her initial money grab. Just another lie to add to the Mullet’s long list.

      • Scientician79 says:

        That coupled with the never ending water pipe replacement program, every day driving through the city is a new adventure.

        This change strikes me like the rates freeze, give with one hand and take with the other. Oh look generous Mayor Mullet giving back, oh wait didn’t she already jack the price up.

  49. Dutch Reverend says:

    Had to laugh at the video that we the reatepayers funded. I feel for poor Jeremy for having to spend any time at all with this fine city’s number 1 retarded nincompoop, which would have done nothing short of tarnishing his own reputation. Not to mention that by throwing a dart at the ‘pie, it’s bound to have many that don’t read your blog asking questions about why a dart at a Magpie. After a bit of research. TaDa… more readers will turn to this blog. Obviously, she isn’t aware that most people touch the paint when they see a sign that says “wet paint, do not touch”

    • Ronny Righteous says:

      I like the wet paint analogy, Dutchy. You’ve just highlighted the first lesson from Marketing 101: “Never, ever acknowledge your competition!”

      Mullet’s just scored what might be termed an ‘”own-bullseye.”

  50. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Seeing that the installation cost of any diameter pipeline is a major factor why not put in a 3.0 m diameter pipe. Would not significantly increase the cost. Let us look to the future.

    • No more dredging says:

      Non-aligned, have you thought for one second about the cost involved in (say) doubling the size of the new pipeline. Apart from (say) doubling the price of the materials, labour and associated infrastructure for the 40kms of pipe, have you considered the possible cost of a major increase in the capacity of the Haughton Channel in the lower Burdekin irrigation scheme (where the water actually comes from) and the pump/s which lift the water out of the Clare Weir into that channel – let alone the staggering cost of pumping water in a 3m pipeline. Ratepayers are whingeing already about the $30,000 per day (since mid-November 2017) it costs to fill a half-metre pipe, imagine the dull roar if the price was ten times that or more.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        The option that has been ignored is a gravity fed system. And no it doesn’t have to come from the Burdekin dam. Only needs to start about 15 km upstream from the current take off point. How were Cairns able to bore a hole from Lake Tinaroo to the Barron Power Station. Romans were moving water using gravity 2000 years ago. Spend the money and be done with it.

        • No more dredging says:

          The ‘gravity feed’ option has only been ignored in this discussion because you wanted to talk about installing a three metre diameter pipe instead of a 1.8m pipe for the current duplication plan – the duplication of a pipeline that runs from next to the Haughton River near Giru (behind Mt Elliott near Major Creek) up to the back of the Ross River dam, sort of near Woodstock. There is no pipeline from the actual Burdekin Dam down south of Ravenswood. You seemed to be talking about economies of scale. So, in the matter of a gravity fed supply to Townsville, assuming you mean water from the Burdekin River (which is where, indirectly, the pumped water is currently coming from), you say such a ‘gravity fed’ pipeline only ” . . . needs to start about 15 km upstream from the current take off point.” I have no idea what you mean by this. Do you mean the current take off point for the pumping pipeline to Toonpan? I’m not sure I understand what you believe to be the layout of the Burdekin River water supply to Townsville. Do you get it that water is let out of the Burdekin Dam to flow downstream several kilometres in the actual Burdekin River stream bed until it reaches one of two weirs. From the weir at Clare, vicinity township of Ayr, a man-made irrigation supply channel runs across the back of the scheme to the Haughton River – it can even empty into that river. This is where Townsville’s ‘Burdekin River water’ is pumped from. The actual Burdekin Dam is a hundred kilometres from that place. So where is this mythical 15 kilometres upstream of the take off point that you referred to? Do you mean somewhere upstream of the Burdekin Dam, getting close to Charters Towers? Surely not. You aren’t one of those Bradfield Dreamers are you?

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            5 km north of the Clare weir.

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            And yes Bradfield was a visionary. Sure the plan needs some tweaks but we do have interior land that would thrive with water. Coastal centric proponents have their heads in the sand.

          • No more dredging says:

            The Burdekin River flows more or less due north through Clare before it turns a bit east to the coast. “5 kms north of the Clare weir” – that’s downstream heading towards Home Hill. How can you gravity feed from there? If you really meant 5 kms SOUTH of the Clare weir i.e. upstream, how would you collect the river flow into a pipeline – another weir?

  51. One legged tap dancer says:

    That mayoral dart board might be all the city gets out of the Pro Darts event being held at the moment.
    Questions for the Mullet:
    How much ratepayers funds were paid to the promoters of this darts competition to get it to Townsville (shades of that $18.5 given to Adani for an airport for a project that has not been funded)?
    Who is paying for all the big darts ads in the Astonisher?
    How many punters actually paid to see darts players who were, in the main, very ordinary throwers by world ranking standards?
    Why wasn’t this event held in a smaller venue like the darts clubhouse out at the Murray Sports Complex?
    If anyone is investigating the Mullet they should also have a close look at this fiasco.

  52. Memory Man says:

    The poor old ideological Bully. … I don’t think you’d call large scale media coverage a backfire … it was a stunt, and it suckered in the Bulletin, hook, line and sinker.


    • The Magpie says:

      hahahahaha …. the most delicious part of all this is that the Astonisher and especially Adolf Tomlinson, don’t realise what they’ve done. The paper makes a habit of unintentionally megaphoning messages that various groups want out … like showing photographs of racist graffiti while deploring the message in their virtue signalling story. So while trying to crow over the failure of an anti-Adani campaign they opposed, THEY GIVE IT ALL THE PUBLICITY IT EVER WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE. And the cherry on top of all that is that people like Tomlinson – who clearly has sway over the new editor – never think that anyone is smarter than them, while they are being played a Stradivarius. This and other stunts by the anti-Adani mob are showing up the level of awareness in our ‘community opinion-leading’ paper.

      Just plain fucking dumb.

    • Old Hack says:

      What a laugh! The only “backfire” came from the Astonisher, where editorial thought-farts seem to be exploding regularly.

  53. Memory Man says:

    Been reading with interest the commentary on “water security” and its impact on pricing. Notice that there’s been deadly silence from everyone … the reality is, costs on ratepayers will rise to pay for a second pipeline that won’t be used often. The idea that water security = water the garden for free without limits whenever you want is just stupid and irresponsible.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      “The idea that water security = water the garden for free without limits whenever you want is just stupid and irresponsible.”

      When was it said that water was going to be free? If you’re prepared to pay for it – over the amount that is a legitimate part of the rates – then why not have access to it? Or is water supply something to which “market forces” don’t and should not apply?

      We are allowed free and unfettered access to unhealthy food and drinks, and then society to some extent picks up the remedial and consequential costs.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      I do not think anyone is subscribing to your water security equation.
      I do however think it reasonable to be able to use my sprinkler system outside the hot part of the day (say 8am – 4pm), three days a week.
      The risk of an excess water bill will, in most cases, limit excessive watering. It did for me.

      • Memory Man says:

        To address one point raised by Dave of Kelso. My comment on defining water security as “as much as we want, when we want, for free” is based on my understanding of the position implied by WFT. Put another way, water costs and all the extra infrastructure (when the existing infrastructure has rarely ever been used) will add to the cost base. Water security in the form of a second pipeline will result in higher rates or higher water charges or both. Those who have made the second pipeline their hobby horse have been awfully silent on what it means for rates and water charges. Maybe Mr Webb may wish to enlighten the community on what the impact is expected to be.

        • The Magpie says:

          Maybe Linda Ashton could take up the point?

        • Scientician79 says:

          I thought water security was more about the fact that the current pipeline is borderline for the current size of the town.

          It supplies around 130ML a day, but loses up to a third of that through evaporation and system losses. Last I saw the daily usage with level 3 restrictions is around 100ML, but we have had days that have gone over the 130ML mark which means we are using more then being replenished.

          I thought this was the primary need for the duplication, provide capacity for now and into the future when the town expands and the daily average might be at 180ML – but this would still be with level 3 restrictions and the dam at it’s current trigger points, a little detail that seems to have been lost in all this discussion.

          There is something to be said for clarifying exactly what water security means though.

          For me it means we operate at level 1 restrictions odds and evens able to water at times that suit and are convenient, wash the car when it needs it etc. But I don’t think that’s what the duplication will deliver?

          And that’s before you get to the question of how much is all of this going to add to my Water Bill?

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Water security? No such fucking thing, it doesn’t exist, all the variables others have mentioned are valid, but the source itself is not secure, 4 out of the last 10 years Burdekin irrigators have not had 100% allocations, Water security is just a gimic designed to make all the gullible masses of this town think it’s all sorted, throw in $225 million of the most wasted use of public money anyone can possibly think of, a few local contracts to spread a bit of gold dust around town and everyone feels good about it all, the greatest con job anyone could possibly imagine. I have been part of delivering major water projects for over 20 years, storage, bulk delivery, treatment, reticulation, measurement, revenue, compliance and maintenance and nothing comes close to the monumental mess this taskforce, seemingly guided and influenced by some completely ignorant amateur with a Facebook page has produced. Only in Townsville could this happen, only in Townsville.

          • The Magpie says:

            Oh dear sounds like a name change coming up … Cantankerous and Unhappy

          • Sandgroper says:

            Cranky, given your experience in this field, I’d be interested to hear your opinion of establishing a desalination plant to service Townsville.
            Two plants are supplying a large proportion of WA’s supply, even feeding into the iconic Goldfields pipeline as dam levels drop and groundwater diminishes.
            Solar power to run a plant should be no problem, given North Queensland’s ample sunshine.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Desalination would work very well in Townsville Gropes, and it would actually add to the overall water supply where any supply from the Burdekin just takes away from someone else, particularly Lower Burdekin expansion areas, I recall uncle Festa was a fan when deputy Mayor. Townsville has long been a parasite on the water front and done nothing to increase supply and nothing to change archaic supply principles, both Townsville and Thuringowa councils applied for and received exemption from competition policy in the mid nineties which would have forced them to scrap the allocation system and adopt user pays principal like 95% of the country, and then in the mid 2000’s again both councils applied for and received exemption form Qld rainwater tank requirements. At every step of the way Townsville has failed to take actions to both increase supply and limit consumption through policy and programs that have proven themselves in most other parts of the country, guess it’s just easier to whinge and put your hand out for solutions.

          • Scientician79 says:

            I think the issue with a desalination plant is one of cost.

            The plant built on the Gold Coast has a capacity of 125ML a day and was a total cost of $1.2Billion – I hate to think what that would do to our rate bills.

          • The Magpie says:

            So, Ronny R, what was the cost in WA?

          • Sandgroper says:

            Thanks for that, Cranky. It always puzzled me why the water allocation for my Townsville property was more than five times greater than for my similarly-sized place in Perth, although charges were apporoximately the same.
            There has been no dramatic rise in the cost of water here since desalination began and there is talk of another plant soon, so the technology is obviously efficient and economically viable.
            Has it been considered by the rather grandly-named Water Task Force?

          • The Magpie says:

            Linda? Think you could keep a reply to the above question somewhere below the length of War and Peace?

          • Sandgroper says:

            Scientician, things are always pricey on the Gold Coast.
            The Perth Seawater Reverse Osmosis Plant just south of the city produces 250ML daily and cost a total of $397 million to build (finished in 2006).
            It supplies 17% of Perth’s water needs (for more than 1.5 million people) , costs less than $20 million annually to run and is mainly powered by a wind farm near Cervantes, north of the city.
            I’m an engineering and mathematical dunce, but I reckon a plant like that might make more sense than replicating the pipeline to Townsville.
            I would also presume its capacity. could be increased reasonably cheaply by adding modules to meet increased demand as Townsville’s population grows.

          • XWaterworker says:

            The cost of desalination plants are site specific. In particular, disposal of the brine (the salty water left after removal of the fresh water) without destroying the local environment is an issue. Ideally you need an offshore current to distribute and dilute the brine rather than it accumulating in one place with dire consequences.

            I suspect in Townsville that an off shore outfall would be required (a long underwater pipe and diffuser) some tens of kms long. If so, that would add considerably to the cost.

            Also keep in mind the supply problem WFTAG are trying to solve- avoiding restrictions to garden watering which have happened twice (including the current instance) since I came to Townsville in 1999. So, like the pipeline, the desal plant would only be turned on very infrequently, but we would always be paying the quite large cost of ownership.

            An alternative is to address the water consumption problem. Townsville residents use four times as much water per household as comparable cities in Australia. If we used the average, the existing pipeline would be used even less frequently, and the existing 100 ML per day would be plenty. As Cantankerous points out, Townsville is one of the few communities still with a water allocation tariff (basically use as much as you like for free up to a quite large limit) whereas nearly everyone else has a user pays system, which clearly encourages conservation. We could encourage those arid style gardens from Arizona, with consequential business opportunities to the landscaping, decking, paving and shadesail industries.

          • Scientician79 says:

            Fair enough Gropes, Gold Coast was the only one I knew about in semi recent times.

            Does bring us back to the original point of how much would this end up costing on the rates bill, but on the face of it desalination seems like a more sensible long term solution then a 300km pipeline.

            There is also the matter or recycled water to help reduce pressure on the drinkable supply as mentioned further up in relation to the golf club. Maybe the solution is some combination of all three with the appropriate investment that is sustainable in the long term?

            If only we had media in this town who would ask these sorts of sensible questions and follow up on the long term consequences. More chance of rain I think.

          • The Magpie says:

            Err, beg pardon on the last point?

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            The cost of desalination plants have dropped dramatically over recent years, whilst providing a much higher quality of water and lower power demands, as Gropes points out to build a solar farm at source would give decades of quality water at considerable cost advantages of a second pipeline if we consider whole of life costs. The $1.2 billionfor the Tugan desal plant on the Gold Coast is far from world best in regards to delivery and represents an outcome from a panicked state govt who paid well over market rates for the plant. It should be worth noting that the plant is in use today and adding to the SEQ grid at limited capacity of 60 mg/l a day, approx 50% capacity. The other advantage of a desal plant for Townsville was it didn’t incorporate the evaporation pit that is Ross River dam as part of the delivery system, something that even a direct supply from the Haughton would achieve to a new treatment plant at the back of Mt Stuart near Stuart Wulguru with a pipe size less than half of the one they are going to build. Basically we are spending $225 million on a pipe and a pump to supply water through the same inefficient storage facility, what a pack of dickheads.

          • The Magpie says:

            but seriously … and don’t get too carried away … why are they dickheads, maybe they have an arguable reason for their stance? However, so far, it seems desalination plants have not been to the forefront and if what is being said here is so, why not? We no doubt await a small novelette from old mate Linda on the matter.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Fair point Pie, a lot of assuming in my comments, perhaps the taskforce was hampered by reference and guidelines that made the second pipeline the only option, if that is the case then the taskforce should articulate what the priorities of the taskforce were, timeframe, budget, etc but I have seen nothing to indicate that was the case, I attended the taskforce forum at Reid Park out of curiousity and Brad Webb was adamant nothing was off the table, that being the case the taskforce has completely failed and has not produced the outcome of a long term sustainable water supply for the Townsville region.

          • Scientician79 says:

            Pie, I’m guessing you meant my last point?

            “If only we had media in this town who would ask these sorts of sensible questions and follow up on the long term consequences. More chance of rain I think.”

            All this discussion we are having, these are the sorts of questions the Astonisher should have been asking, not just blindly going with the direction provided by the Mayor of “don’t worry a pipeline will solve it”.

            Like I said more chance of us getting rain and making the problem go away again in the short term, but can always live in hope.

  54. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    I read the Anna P has announced her new initiative to deal with Townsville’s crime issues.. Retired Major General Stuart Smith as an independent “community champion” to report directly to her with (to quote) “community concerns, how those concerns can be best addressed, what’s working and isn’t working.”

    Isn’t that the role of our 3 local members? Exactly what do they do and what do we pay them for?

    • The Magpie says:

      Precisely! And if Anna Alphabet doesn’t know what the ‘community concerns’ are by now, she dumber and deafer than her BFF Mayor Mullet. And stuart Smith is by all reports a champion bloke, but is the government going to pay him? This is rort heaven in this state … not much different anywhere else, but at least the others try to dress their pigs up with lipstick and a calico dress.

  55. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    From now on I’m no longer referring to O’Rourke, Stewart and Harper as the 3 Stooges…..

    They are now the ‘John Bobbits’…..useless members.

  56. Achilles says:

    That pic of Nigel Scullion has the facial expression that we’ve all felt at some time and asked the question “does fart have lumps in it”?

  57. J jones says:

    Re the darts
    The crowd at night one was abysmal….despite all the efforts of News Ltd and Mullet
    The good folk saw through the bullshit and knew there were a couple of world class players and the rest were hacks.
    Nothing like a blockbuster as the paper called it.

    • The Magpie says:

      Interesting isn’t it, Mayor Mullet aims at her heartland, or so she thinks. Darts, V8 races, that fuckwittery about Cowboy island, all efforts to be in with the bogans. Hey here’s a question if you don’t think there’s some latter day Labor class divide going on here. Anyone ever seen The Mullet at the Festival of Chamber Music? Dance North? A play? Real question, The ‘Pie wouldn’t know, but would love to see her arriving what she thinks is fashionably late (no its just plain rude) in her bright red vinyl jacket.

      • Dearie Me says:

        She’s too busy attending chook raffles, sod turnings, rescuing stray dogs and fumbling speeches at luncheons to attend events of culcheral significans to our great city.

        And Pie, since you brought up the topic of the Mayoral attire, can we suggest as a city that its about time the lacey magenta number was retired, along with the yellow and black snakeskin print atrocity.

        • The Magpie says:

          Solve all such matters if we just retired the mayor … but we I’ll just have go with the flow for a couple years yet (God and administrators willing).

  58. Ronny Righteous says:

    Happy Straya Day to all.
    Mine didn’t start well when I made the mistake of opening the Bulletin online and reading the muddled musings of Steele and Tomlinson.
    From now on, I’ll stick to Ando, Raggers and Shari.

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Hey Ronnie – I know who Adolf T is, who is Steele???

      • Ronny Righteous says:

        Plucker, that’s Jess, who likes to write about subjects such as folding laundry and cleaning cupboards. I’m sure she is a really nice person, but I wish she’d sometimes venture outside the domestic circle.

        • The Magpie says:

          Christ no!!! Jess with a few idle thoughts on dialectical materialism … the date for Australia Day … the Adani airstrip rort … give us a bloody break.

  59. Alahazbin says:

    For those on this blog that don’t bother to get the daily Astonisher, here is the news!
    Jonathan Thurston didn’t get AOTY award and Puddleduck have given some retired army general the job to do something about the juvenile crime in the city, allowing the 3 blind mice to do nothing.
    Please! WTF?

    • I'll be plucked says:


      O’Rort, Harpic and Captain Cupcake (Stewart)=PLUCKERS

      The Qld ALP Government=PLUCKERS

      No effing idea ANY of them!

      • Achilles says:

        Why would they do anything? they’re on a first class ticket on the gravy train, for the next 3 years.
        They’re following the rule of STFUJTTM

        • The Magpie says:

          Someone will ask, but it won’t be The ‘Pie.

          • Achilles says:

            Shut The Fuck Up Just Take The Money, they’ve had 3 years to get to know the system and now they have 3 years of conniving and rubbing shoulders in just the places that will continue the largesse even after losing the next election.
            Set for life

          • Alahazbin says:

            Is it “Still Trying To Fuck Up Jenny Till The End.

          • Rusty Nail says:

            I can’t be sure, ‘Pie but how about “Shut The F**k Up Just Take The Money”?

    • I'll be plucked says:

      This ‘response’ from the Qld Premier and the three local ALP member hacks is absolutely outrageous – what the pluck do we pay politicians to do? The feelings of the Townsville community on this issue of community safety are crystal clear – absolute weak response from the Qld Labor Govt. Time for the populace to stand up and take back control of this MESS! DO SOMETHING PREMIER – get these crims off the street!

  60. The Owl says:

    So the Mullet is on a roll. Niel Diamond cancels, her darts blockbuster has gone bust, and no sign of any Adani jobs. What a champion!
    What’s next- no battery factory?
    If we didn’t have a State Labor govt she would be gone by now

    • Achilles says:

      So the “Mullet is on a roll”. can you picture that on Subway? ugh,
      Anyway makes a change from getting Salmonella from my sardine sarnies.
      Either way I get an upset stomach

  61. Westie says:

    We pay the MPs to vote in parliament. What else do you want them to do? Drive round in police cars.

    The solution to the crime problem is not more police. It is to get ‘em jobs, so that they have a stake in our community.

    Not easy, but there you are. Get ‘em jobs.

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Jobs and training whilst in the pokey long enough to learn something useful – not in/out, slap, slap like now! Give the community a break and get em off the streets for a lenghty period of time!

    • Grumpy says:

      No, it’s not. They wouldn’t know what to do if they got one.

    • Scotty says:

      No one gave me a job, I had to go out and get one myself, and for the past 40 odd years I’ve paid my own way, no handouts, no half mast flags, no whinging (well a little). Sadly I’m fast becoming a minority in my own country, someone prepared to work for a living!

  62. Woodduck says:

    The problem Westie, is that none of these cretans want to work. The solar farms at Collinsville are looking for workers, they have had to employ backpackers, because they can’t get anyone else. And on the water subject, you have all forgotten one more option, recycled sewage. Remember Poowoomba, the amount of shit the council/ politicians are spewing all over Townsville, there should be a life time supply.

  63. Woodduck says:

    And Collinsville isn’t the only area, solar farms are being built at Townsville, Clare, Guru and other sites across the state, who have, or will have the same employment problem. It has definitely generated some jobs and been good for the communities. So I hate to say it, but maybe them Bozos in Brisbane got this part right, with their jobs,job,jobs catchphrase . Maybe the hard part is getting some of the career dole bludgers(I couldn’t think of any better words) to work, work,work.

    • No more dredging says:

      Woodduck, my mate was working at one of those solar farm installations. They went broke, he got diddled (like so many before) and now is on his arse. I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

  64. J jones says:

    I’m guessing someone has lost some decent money on the third rate darts fiasco.

  65. Dutch Reverend says:

    I tip my hat to Shari for her column on political spin today. A very good column that wraps up what most have been saying on this blog for a long while now. I managed to see it before it goes to the subscriber only set. One thing for sure, is that Shari won’t be invited to any iced vo-vo and tea sessions.

  66. Busted Chops says:

    Anyone able to get a hold of Messagebank? Nah. He’s dragged his missus on a junket to Singapore, courtesy of the public tit.

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